Matt R.

Chill Out: Wines for San Francisco Summer‏



Memorial Day is behind us; that means it’s officially summer! And nothing better signals the arrival of San Francisco summer than the triumphant return of Karl the Fog from Spring Break. We all the know the drill for summer around here, but if you’re new to San Francisco, let us fill you in: it’s cold! Grab those scarves, parkas, and wind breakers because summer in San Francisco is no tropical retreat.

So what do you drink during these next chilly, windy, and foggy few months? The temptation to steer towards our favorite sunny-day whites and rosés remains strong, and when the sun does peek through the fog, that’s what we’ll be drinking. But what about when that wind is just too much and the fog is billowing around your house? Rather than go for our typical heavy and ‘winter red wines’ we like to split the difference. These couple of red wines are perfect for keeping in the summer mood! They’re light and crisp, and are both perfect served slightly chilled. And what about if you need something refreshing but also a bit stronger to keep the blood flowing? Try the Cocchi Americano, a classic Italian aperitif, much like Lillet!

So don’t be afraid of the chilly months ahead and embrace the best of both worlds with these summer sippers!

2013 Copain Wines Estate P2  –  $24.99Copain
Copain Wine Cellars are producing wines that are both deeply traditional and somewhat experimental. From Burgundian-inspired Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to experimental bottlings of Picpoul, Trousseau, and Poulsard, winemaker Wells Guthrie keeps things interesting at Copain! Their summer release is their P2, a blend of equal parts Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from the vineyards surrounding their winery. Both grapes are fermented together and aged in neutral French oak for 5 months. The resulting wine has unmistakable white floral aromatics from the Pinot Gris and the palate is full-on tart red raspberry, cherry, and spice notes. A zippy acidity on the finish make this an easy pairing with most summer meals. Chill for a bit before serving for a refreshing summer red!

Agostino2012 Agostino Pavia Girgnolino d’Asti  –  $14.99
The Piedmont is known for lots of things, and Grignolino is not one of them. Home to Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera, and Dolcetto, not very much Grignolino is made (nor taken seriously) in the Piedmont. However, Agostino Pavia is making a remarkable Grignolino in Asti. Grignolino is a grape often made into young easy-drinking reds, usually for drinking while awaiting the more serious Barolos and Barbarescos to be released. Agostino’s version is just as light and easy to drink as you’d expect, but with a solid herbal and tannic finish. The name for the grape originates from the word ‘gringole’ which means ‘many pips’ in the local dialect and refers to the abundance of seeds in the grapes that contribute to its tannins. Chill this down slightly and enjoy with grilled pizza or flat-breads for an easy summer meal!

CocchiCocchi Americano  –  $21.99
Modeled after the original recipe for Lillet, Cocchi Americano was first produced in 1891 by Giulio Cocchi and is the closest one can get to the original recipe for Kina Lillet, developed in 1872. The recipe has remained unchanged since then and is a base of Moscato d’Asti wine insued with cinchona bark, gentian, and sweet and bitter citrus peels. The Italians would serve this over simply over ice with an orange peel and splash of soda water, but use this in your Vesper Martinis or Corpse Reviver cocktails for a more authentic experience. A must have for the serious home bartender! 

Upcoming Events:
  • Wine Tasting with Daniel of Kermit Lynch Wines – Friday, June 6th, 4-6PM – At Bi-Rite Divisadero
  • Anchor Beer Tasting – Saturday, June 7th, 3-5PM – At Bi-Rite Divisadero
  • Ridge Estate Wine Tasting – Saturday, June 7th, 5-7PM – At Bi-Rite Divisadero
  • Women Organic Winemakers of Italy – Saturday, June 7th, 3-5PM – At 18 Reasons


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