When you think of summer you think of heat and heat makes you think of things to stay cool. Enter, wine! Now, obviously, we need to drink water to stay hydrated but a few other things come to mind as well … like tasty Washington wine varietals.
Trio of Washington Wine Varietals to Try …
Washington is making some incredible Rose, Pinot Gris, and Gewurtztraminer. Those is the lead of this dance, though, by far. Rose sales have skyrocketed over the last few years. Statistics show that rose sales are up 40% a year, every year. More and more wineries are starting to produce rose for the first time. Usually American roses tend to show a little fruitier than French roses. However, there are still some bone dry US roses that are made in the traditional French rose style. I tend to like the one that’s in my glass. Rose all day!
If you are not a fan of rose, another go to for runner is Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are the same grape, just grown in different regions. You will never see an Italian Pinot Gris and you will rarely find any wineries outside of Italy making Pinot Grigio. The exception to that rule is the United States. Long ago, there was a world wide agreement that this grape would be called Pinot Grigio, when only grown in Italy. However, the United States was still in the throws of Prohibition so we were not a part of the agreement. This is why it is “legal” for us to make and label both Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio.
Pinot Gris’ style is up to the winemaker to determine based on their desired outcome and what they region provides with the fruit. There are sweet, semi-sweet, and dry Pinot Gris available. Lone Birch, wonderful Washington wine maker, makes an amazing dry Pinot Gris that expresses aromas of tropical fruit on the noise and crisp apple, pear, and melon on the finish.
Get Some Gewurtztraminer!
Last but not least Gewurtztraminer! Difficult to pronounce (it’s okay to shorten to “Gewurtz”), this grape was discovered in Europe but can be grown globally. One could argue it was home to France…or Austria…or Germany but no one is certain. This is a highly versatile crown pleaser. Light and delicate, it is perfect for most summer occasions as it does well as a cocktail wine but also pairs beautifully with food. Gewurtztraminer has exotic spices and stone fruits (such as lychee and peaches), and is known for it’s floral bouquet.
This Washington wine power trio of wines are great for anything in the picnic basket, a night on the porch, or in an ice chest at a pool party!