Ah, wine, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: You taste amazing, contain antioxidants and make it easier for us to navigate social situations. As summer is officially in full swing, we decided to find out the best wines to sip from our flamingo pool floats. Here to help is Andrew Pettingell, expert sommelier at the incredibly chic Downtown Los Angles restaurant Otium. Check out the five summer wines he recommends, plus what to nosh on when you drink them.
2015 Herman J. Weimer Reserve Dry Riesling
Pairs well with: Crudos, grilled fish, anything with a touch of spice
Sommelier Andrew says: "Don't necessarily think sweet. Riesling is a wine that is known for its great acid and texture, which makes it an ideal wine to drink with food. While Germany, Austria and Alsace are centuries-old producers of great Riesling, you can find some incredible options in the US as well. One of the best things about Riesling is that it's never too high in alcohol content, so it's perfect for day drinking."
2015 Domaine Jean-Philippe Fichet Meursault
Pairs well with: Lobster, crab and butter
Sommelier Andrew says: "For all those oaky, buttery California Chardonnay drinkers out there, it's time to step up your game. Meursault is one of the great Chardonnays of the world. While these wines may cost an extra $50 a bottle, the experience is more than worth it. Unlike Chablis and Puligny, Meursault offers great rich fruit and a toasty hazelnut complexity that creates a long-lasting finish."
NV Billecart Salmon Rose
Pairs well with: Cheese and charcuterie
Sommelier Andrew says: "Rosé is the quintessential summer drink, but while we’re on the topic of indulgence, why not include some rosé Champagne? Nothing sets the tone better for all summer celebrations than a flute of pink bubbles."
2015 Terredora Dipaolo Greco di Tufo
Pairs well with: Summer salads, lighter seafood, pastas, grilled veggies
Sommelier Andrew says: "Looking for value? Italian whites are perfect for summer. The three white varietals from Campania—Falangina, Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino—are an ideal fit for summer. The whites in this region are largely grown in volcanic soil, which provides a complex mineral note to the wines. Think seafood and a fabulous Italian vacation at the Amalfi Coast."
2015 Marcel Lapierre Morgon
Pairs well with: Grilled meats and poultry
Sommelier Andrew says: "Reds have a place in summer drinking too! Beaujolais, made from Gamay, is a light and mineral wine that features lip-smacking fruit and low alcohol. Look to buy one of the ten Crus of Beaujolais—wines like Morgon, Fleurie and Brouilly—for an elevated experience."