Vino 301’s Summer White Wines Picks
Crossing the Bay Bridge and seeing all the boats in the Bay lets me know it is official. Aww finally, summer is here. It is the start of lots of grilling, freshly made salads and really yummy desserts being served. And, let’s not forget to mention the crabs. I know it is still a little early to have Maryland’s blue crabs. But you cannot talk about summer without mentioning Maryland’s caviar. You must have wine with all this summer goodness. Here are Vino 301’s suggestions for summer white wines.
Sipping a cool glass of wine on the deck or rocking on the porch swing is quintessential summer fun.
Rosé, Great Frogs
Rosé was known as a transition wine bridging winter and summer seasons. A go to wine to drink in the Spring. However, Rosé popularity has emerged recently and is enjoyed year-round. Great Frogs Rosé is perfect to help make Maryland’s humid days tolerable. The Rosé is refreshing and fruity dry wine. Red fruit, like strawberries and raspberries will dance on your palate. A mild tart finish completes your sip.
Riesling, Basignani Vineyard
Basignani’s Riesling hits the spot when you are sipping wine at your favorite concert. The color is a beautiful pale straw. Notes of melon and honeysuckle are on the nose. It is a semi-dry wine, that is not syrupy sweet or overwhelms the nature flavors of the Riesling grape. It is a well-balanced wine that is best served cold.
Grilled Veggies and Summer Salads
My maternal grandmother made the best tomato salad. She used fresh tomatoes, spring onions, vinegar, a pinch of sugar, and finished with salt and pepper. I try to make it whenever I can get Eastern Shore tomatoes, usually when I do the Chesapeake Wine Tour. Some of the vineyards have fresh produces for sale.
Albariño, Serpent Ridge
Summer salads, like my grandmother’s salad, is complemented by Albariño. Albariño is becoming Maryland’s go to white wine. It is a Spanish grape that grows very well in the state. The first time I had Albariño was at Serpent Ridge five years ago. It is still consistently good after all those years. You will detect aromas of crisp green apples on the nose. You will taste peaches later followed by mild citrus fruit. Bright acidity on the finish is what makes it pair so well with summer salads. It will not overpower or detract from the foods flavors.
Franc Blanc, Thanksgiving Farms
Grilled vegetables are sometimes difficult to find the right wine to serve with it. The smokiness and charred flavors along the vegetables bright notes can be challenging. Franc Blanc accepts the challenge. It is a white Cabernet Franc. Franc Blanc is a full body wine white that has a floral nose. You will enjoy stone fruit flavors like apricots. Mild citrus flavor like kumquats will come across. The low acid and fullness of the wine is a good grilling partner.
Seafood and Crabs
An unoaked Chardonnay is the preference for many seafood lovers. I would challenge you to try a Vidal Blanc. Vidal Blanc style is typically semi-sweet or sweet. However, Hidden Hills has prepared a dry Vidal Blanc which is a delightful alternative to a Chardonnay.
Vidal Blanc, Hidden Hills Farms and Vineyard
It is a medium body wine. Pears and golden apples on the palate and nose. It has minerality and lemon on the finish. The lemon comes forward especially when it is paired with fish and shellfish.
You can purchase the wines online, just visit their websites. You can contact the vineyards to locate where you can purchase the wines at local wine stores or restaurants.
Pet Friendly Wineries
You love wine. You love your dog. Why not bring your dog with you when you go wine tasting? It can be a wonderful outing with your best friend. Before you and your best friend spend a day at pet friendly wineries, here are some things you should know.
- Call first, not all vineyards are pet friendly
Although there is a vineyard dog, do not assume you can bring your pet. Call or email the vineyard before you arrive is the best way to determine your pet can visit. Most vineyards do not list their pet policy on their website, so call ahead.
- Come prepared
Most vineyards will have water bowls available and supplies to clean up after your dog. However, you should bring your own just in case. Consider bringing food, and their favorite toy. Being at the vineyard may be overwhelming for your pooch in the beginning. Having their favorite toy will help will help your doggie adjust to the new environment.
- Leash or not to Leash
Your dog may be trained without a leash, but you should be prepared to place your dog on a leash. Many vineyards do require your dog have a leash. When you contact the vineyard, make sure you ask about their leash policy.
- Pet friendly Maryland vineyards
There are some Maryland vineyards that welcome your doggie. Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard is one vineyard that not only welcomes pets, but they host pet friendly events. In the fall, they host the Howl-O-Wine for Wags for Hope fundraiser. They also have pet pictures event during the Christmas season.
Here is a list of other Maryland vineyards who are pet friendly wineries.
Crow Vineyard (Kennedyville, MD)
Great Frogs (Annapolis, MD)
Perigeaux Vineyard & Winery (St. Leonard, MD)
Running Hare Vineyard (Prince Frederick, MD)
Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard (Dickerson, MD)
I hope these tips will make your wine tasting experience enjoyable for you and your best friend. Enjoy your visit.