What to Drink This Summer

Move over, Chardonnay. These refreshing vintages make for light and breezy seasonal sippers.



Westchester summers (hello, heat and humidity!) call for easily drinkable chilled white wines that pair well with the season’s bounty—fresh-from-the-garden salads; cold, plucked-from-the-ocean seafood; and anything grilled or barbecued. Even those passionate about their ruby-red pours (and I’m one of them) often make the switch come July, when hot afternoons and muggy nights call for cool, light-bodied vintages bursting with bright acidity and the fragrant notes of citrus, melon, peach, and robust lemon. Here, wine aficionados from local bars and restaurants recommend what to order when your Happy Hour calls for something more adventurous than the house Chardonnay—and we tell you where to buy it by the bottle when you want to enjoy more at home.

Bodegas La Caña Albariño
Rías Baixas, Spain (2010)
Recommended by: Andrea Prando, bartender at 12 Grapes (12 N Division St, Peekskill;
914-737-6624; 12grapes.com)
The 2010 La Caña Albariño from Spain “is similar to Chardonnay, but without all the butter and oak,” Prando says. “The long finish of the Albariño also gives it more character than a Pinot Grigio. The lemon/lime scent and the taste of the different fruits such as tangerines and pears make it the perfect summer wine. I always recommend it. Plus, it goes great with seafood.”
By the Glass: $10
Buy the Bottle: $17.99,
Dylan’s Wine Cellar, (50 Hudson Ave, Peekskill 914-930-8003;
dylanswinecellar.com)


 

Guilhem & Jean-Hugues Goisot Bourgogne Aligoté
Saint-Bris le Vineux, France (2010)
Recommended by: Alicia Wilbur, wine director at Vintage 1891 (2098 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont 914-834-9463; vintage1891.com)
“Aligote is the second, lesser-known white grape of Burgundy—the most famous being Chardonnay—and it’s an absolutely refreshing, mineral-driven, clean, pure wine,” says Wilbur. “It’s among one of the crispest, most elegant, and unexpected choices we have and a real crowd-pleaser.”
By the Glass: $10
Buy the Bottle: $15.99, Winetasters of Larchmont (100 Chatsworth Ave, Larchmont 914-834-0800;
winetastersoflarchmont.com)



Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc,
Martinborough, New Zealand (2010)
Recommended by: Charles Conti, bartender at Hudson at Haymount House (25 Studio Hill Rd, Briarcliff Manor 914-502-0080; haymounthouseny.com)
This Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand’s North Island boasts a light palate weight and pairs great with summer salads, grilled vegetables, seafood, and light white meats. “It’s crisp and vibrant with delicate stone fruit and lime zest notes,” Conti says.
By the Glass: $12 Buy the Bottle: $19.99
Zachys Wine and Liquor, Inc. (16 E Parkwy, Scarsdale 914-723-0241; zachys.com)



Freeman Vineyard and Winery “Ryo-fu” Chardonnay,
Russian River Valley, Sonoma (2010)
Recommended by: Evan Lambert, owner of Savona (2 Chase Rd, Scarsdale 914-798-0550; savonarestaurant.com) and founder of the American Sommelier Association  
“The perfectly balanced Ryo-fu has a ripe acidity that serves to enhance the flavor profile of simple dishes such as grilled fish,” Lambert says. “The Freeman Vineyard and Winery is one of the top Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wineries in the world, as stated by Wine Spectator, and the best part is that Ken Freeman, the vitner/owner, is from Westchester—a graduate of Scarsdale High School. Enjoy a glass of this world-class gem in our outdoor café; you will think you are on Via Montenapoleone in Milan!”
By the Glass: $15 Buy the Bottle: $55. Zachys Wine and Liquor, Inc. (16 E Parkwy, Scarsdale 914-723-0241; zachys.com)



Simply Naked Unoaked Sauvignon Blanc
New Zealand (2011)
Recommended by: Jeffrey Rosen, owner of MTK Tavern (30 E Main St, Mount Kisco 914-218-3334;
mtktavern.com)  
“This is a juicy and refreshing wine,” Rosen says. “Taking a sip is like walking through a field of wild flowers with a cool breeze blowing through your hair. You’ll seriously love it.”
By the Glass: $7 Buy the Bottle: $8.99
 Skyview Wine & Spirits (5681 Riverdale Ave, Riverdale, NY; 888-759-8466; skyviewwine.com)


    

 

Jorge Ordóñez & Co. “Botani” Moscatel Seco, Sierras de Malaga, Spain (2010)
Recommended by: Colby Brock, food & beverage manager at NoMa Social (One Radisson Plaza, New Rochelle 914-576-4141; nomasocial.com)
“This moscatel is summer in a bottle,” says Brock. “It pairs with any of our lighter tapas, seafood, and chicken, and especially a yummy citrus ceviche. It’s intense, savory, and crisp.”
By the Glass: $11 Buy the Bottle: $19.99 (special order), Bedford Wine Merchants (24 Village Green, Bedford 914 234-6012;
bedfordwines.com)

 



Boutari Kallisti Reserve Assyrtiko Santorini, Greece (2007)
Recommended by: Michael Psilakis, chef and owner of MP Taverna (One Bridge St, Irvington 914-231-7854; michaelpsilakis.com/mp-taverna)
“Santorini is a Greek volcanic island that produces a white grape called Assyrtiko,” Psilakis says. “Boutari is among one of my favorite varieties—especially since you can actually chill it a little more than you would most white wines.”
By the Glass: $16 Buy the Bottle: $30 (special order), Suburban Wines & Spirits (379 Downing Dr, Yorktown Heights
914-962-3100 suburbanwines.com)

 


 

Ruffino Moscato d’Asti
Piedmont, Italy (2011)
Recommended by: Joseph Trama, executive chef and owner at Grace’s Table (324 Central Ave, White Plains 914-684-8855; graces-table.com)
“This wine is fruity, crisp, and refreshing,” says Trama. “It’s not overly sweet like most moscatos, because it is slightly bubbly, which makes the wine drier. It pairs well with most foods and drinks, though it’s also perfect without food.”
By the Glass: $8 Buy the Bottle: $14.99 Cheers (1070 Wilmot Rd, Scarsdale
914-472-1280; cheers-wineandspirits.com)