It's summer: grab a glass and let these Mediterranean wines bring some sunny vibes to you, wherever you are.
Water often plays a big role in wine, and I’m not talking about irrigation or the H2O content of a glass of wine. It’s not merely a coincidence that some of the most famous wine regions are located near a large body of water. Europe’s second-longest river Danube or the lake Neusiedl in Austria are just a few examples that have a big impact on certain wine regions. But there is nothing like our beloved Mediterranean Sea. Its influence is hard to measure but it’s safe to say that without it, the world of wine would not be the same.
Here is a list of wines that are like a Mediterranean summer breeze.
Brosé! Summer is just not summer without rosé. That light pink hue swirling in a glass gets you in a summer mood instantly. Not that you couldn’t drink rosé during winter but in summertime… wow! Nobody does rosé quite like Provence. Delicate, structured and like, really yummy!
Bolgheri is one of those wine regions that have been almost too successful for its own good. Overshadowed by epic wines such as Sassicaia and Ornellaia, one often forgets that the region produces a variety of wines. Located on the Tuscan coast Bolgheri is heavily influenced by the sea. Like a vinous Jedi mind trick, you can almost feel that freshness and vibrancy of the sea in some of the white wines.
Picpoul is one of the most underrated grape varieties from France. Relatively unknown but loved by those who are acquainted with it. Picpoul is usually delightfully straightforward, simple and powerful as an intercontinental ballistic missile. It’s gorgeous with some fresh seafood like oysters or perhaps a grilled turbot.
Mediterranean’s largest island is a paradise for wine lovers. There is just so much good stuff coming out of Sicily that it’s getting ridiculous. The diversity of wine styles and grape varieties is incredible. Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Grillo, Zibibbo, and the list goes on. Grab a glass and let the wine do the talking - you won’t regret it.
There is something about island wines. The secluded nature of these wines is alluring. On the island of Santorini, the vines are trained low in a bundle to protect the grapes from strong winds. Just looking at the vineyards you question “how is it possible to make good wine here”, yet somehow it is. The piercing acidity and freshness of the Assyrtiko wines of Santorini is baffling.
According to my Instagram feed island hopping in the Adriatic Sea is the new black. If you find yourself on a Croatian island, drinking local wine is a must. Grape varieties change depending on the island and finding a “new”, close to unpronounceable grape variety is pretty much like catching a rare Pokémon. The beautiful island of Brač, where the people and wine are bound to the sea, is especially worthy of a visit. Just let the white pebble beaches and wine seduce you.
The sun kissed vineyards around Banyuls-sur-Mer produce a fortified wine that is just pure liquid sunshine. Some of the vineyards are located so close to the sea you could probably just dive right in straight from the vineyard. People usually think fortified wines don’t go well with summer but I disagree. Serve the wine chilled, with some hors d’oeuvre, and be prepared to run out of wine.