Temperatures have been unpredictable in Sonoma and Napa this summer, alternating between unseasonably cool and my brain is melting. Most homes in Northern California don't have central air—it really wasn't needed in the past. Twenty-five years ago summer temperatures rarely rose above the low 90s and heat waves were uncommon.
Summer weather has been even more erratic in other parts of the country, so I'm not complaining. It's just that my wine choices for summer drinking have evolved as much as the weather, and are just as unpredictable. I'm wondering if readers are feeling the same way?
I'm drinking a lot more rosé like Domaine de Triennes from France and Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Paso Robles from California. Depending on how hot it is outside, a good rosé can go with anything from a hamburger or taco to grilled fish.
I can't seem to get enough of crisp whites this summer, either, whether it's an Italian Vermentino or a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. If I had to pick a favorite for summer 2016, however, it would be sparkling wine. Whether it's a plush bubbly from California or bracing and complex Champagne, it has almost become an obsession with me. (Even more than usual, I mean.)
What about you? Have your summer drinking habits changed? Maybe you can relate when I say I don't reach for Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah as much as I once did in the summer, even if I'm grilling a steak and smoking a brisket.
I'm really not sure why. Those wines are as good as ever, but for the most part I drink them in the winter. Instead I find myself opening a Zinfandel or even a full-bodied Pinot Noir instead.
It didn't used to be that way. So what changed? Maybe it's the weather.