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Wine Park

Summer’s Dream Wines!

As spring gives way to summer, we’ve got six cracking good wines you can revise your homely collection with as the seasons turn

The coming of summer is marked by rising temperatures and a sharper and evinces a multitude of responses. For some it’s an urgent reason to ride it out indoors while others see it as a call to crank up the good times — garden parties, backyard brunches and beachside sundowners. What unites the two profiles of course is the bare necessity of wine and summer calls for an important overhaul of the wine list, infusing a gush of crisp and refreshing wines to the personal cellar.
The Summer Time Palate…
The heat parches the palate so coolants are in order so it’s prudent to reach for white wines for their tart, cooling style. Effervescent sparklers wines are also a popular choice as are lightly tinted rose wine layered with generous wallops of ripe fruit. And don’t rule out the reds. Yes, while the fiery full bodied ones may be a bit much for Mumbai’s double whammy of heat and humidity, allow us to surprise you with a couple of special summertime reds.
Light Whites….
White wines are all the rage during summer and fit right into a narrative that all about being chilled. Indians have grown accustomed to super cooling their white wines and when the mercury is pushing 34 degrees, maybe cool the whites even more. There are some white wine styles more suited to the summer, chiefly lighter, fruity and generously acidic. Perhaps cellar the barrel aged white wines for the upcoming monsoons. Here’s two of our best summer white picks:
Man Family, Padstal Chardonnay 2019
This elegant South African Chardonnay teems with notes of citrus, lime and stonefruit, pairing nicely with curries and roast chicken.
Susana Balbo, Crios Torrontes 2019
Argentina’s finest local white wine is a reliable summer companion, impressing with a floral bouquet and flavours of peach and passion fruit.
Cool Bubblies
The mere sighting of an uncorked sparkling wine magnum stuck in a freshened ice bucket can make the heat feel bearable. Draining the bottle into a number of tulip glasses and sipping the crisply textured and vigorous wine along with a platter of summery starters might make one wonder about all the fuss over the heat. Easy drinking and uncomplicated sparkling wines are the best bet of the season and nothing quite does it like Italy’s favourite sparkler, Prosecco. Cavas from Spain are also a good choice and with Champagne, goes without saying, you’re all set.
Bisol, Belstar Cult, Prosecco Extra Dry NV
This pour is one of Italy’s finest Proseccos, bursting with citrus and apple tempered by minerality, making for the perfect afternoon aperitif.
Gramona, La Cuvee, Brut Gran Reserva 2013
A fine vintage bubbly, the Cava is delights with notes of apple, peach and dry fruit, complimented by a creamy texture and clean finish.
Roses to park with
The clamour for rose wines almost always peaks just when summer does. Rose wines have always been a popular choice for day drinkers, allured by the colour and pleasing fruity bouquet not to forget a few hints of red wine – the base grape is after all red. Summery roses are so easy to pick – just look at the colour. A lighter hue indicates minimal maceration (skin contact) during fermentation. More intense colour works for roses meant to be food paired but on a sultry April afternoon, a salmon pink and super chilled bottle of Southern French rose will do just fine as will a mineralesque Italian estate wine. We’ve got some fresh stock of them both on the way.
Reds, not out for summer
Now there are plenty of reasons why red wines are frowned upon during unforgiving Indian summers. Most of the complaints drum along the lines of too heavy, too tannic or just a lot of heat. Sure, full bodied Bordeaux and Tuscany might be out of step with a scorching climate though red wine buffs can’t be bothered. Still, it’s important to bust the myth that reds are out for summer. Not all of them. Some reds radiate elegance, light body and subtle fruit flavours and when proportionately chilled make surprisingly good companions for this season. We’re confidently placing our bets on a cool climate Pinot Noir from the new world and local Sicilian red that surprises with light body and accessible fruit.
Stark-Conde Kara Tara Pinot Noir 2019
Chill this elegant, cool climate red from South Africa to savour its sweet cherry and earthy flavours, complimented by a soft, rounded finish.
Passopisciaro, Passorosso, Etna 2017
Now here’s a vintage summer surprise – a light bodied Sicilian red made from a grape few people know, that’s bottled under the nose of an active volcano. Get a taste of this Nerello Mascalese expression that’s a delight to drink with hints of wild berries, aniseed and smoke.