Wine Recommendations: The Best Wines for Summer

What’s cooking? Whether the warm weather has you craving a cool salad or a steak right off the grill, our Total Wine Professionals can suggest the perfect wine pairings for the summer season.

Total Wine Professionals are our most knowledgeable team members on the subject of wine, and they’ve put in the work. Candidates for the title devote months of intensive study to the subject of the best wines, winemakers and winegrowing areas throughout the world. Once they’ve passed seven written exams with a score of 90 or above, they’re presented with TWP pins and black aprons. Look for them in your local Total Wine & More store, where you can ask for personalized wine recommendations. And check online regularly for new picks from our Total Wine Professionals.

Kira Sol Kira Sol Charlotte, North Carolina

Amici Sauvignon Blanc Napa


Taste the wine that started my love affair with Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc! Joel Aiken—formerly BV’s winemaker for 27 years—decided to emphasize aromatics by using the Sauvignon Musque clone for half of the grapes. The result? A beautiful bouquet of pineapple, guava, and citrus accompanied by layers of tropical fruit, minerality, and lemon on the palate. The Amici Sauvignon Blanc is the quintessential wine of summer: fantastic to enjoy chilled on its own as you sit by the pool, but also a perfect pairing for a picnic with fried chicken, with pork chops straight off the grill, or with a tasty green salad topped with goat cheese.

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Susan Meyer Susan Meyer Scottsdale, Arizona

Chateau de Chantegrive Graves, 2010


This Cabernet Sauvignon-based beauty from the 2010 vintage in Bordeaux reflects the elegance of Graves but also boasts the opulence and richness of the new world. What a terrific red for any fan of full-bodied reds! This family-owned and operated estate continues to improve the quality of their wines each year since they purchased the castle and its vineyards in 1966. The Chantegrive is the perfect accompaniment with any red meat you opt to grill during the summer months. Do not miss out on this sleeper!

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LindaMcPhaul Linda McPhaul Pembroke Pines, Florida

Chateau Ferran Pessac, 2010


This elegant Bordeaux is crafted from estate Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon thriving in Pessac-Leognan. The Lacoste family inherited this estate in 1999 and have elevated the wines released each year. This is a full-bodied red with loads of ripe and delicious red and dark fruit flavors enhanced by hints of smokiness. The tannins are still present so be sure to open this wine hours before consumption to allow it to open and show its true potential. It is marvelous with slow roasted or smoked meats and I highly recommend it for the Bordeaux aficionado.

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TimKlein Tim Klein Albuquerque, New Mexico

Chateau de Rully Blanc


This wonderfully balanced 100% Chardonnay crafted from estate vineyards within the Cote Chalonnaise offers all the elegance of Meursault for half the price! Beautiful lightly oaked fruit and sumptuous notes of butter and roasted apples make this the perfect summertime sipper on its own or with any shellfish or light white fish. I really encourage Chardonnay fans to take the leap to white Burgundy, you will not be disappointed!

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Ian Burpo Ian Burpo Springfield, Virginia

Flichman Dedicado Red


The Dedicado never disappoints! Crafted by winemaker, German Berra from 70% Malbec, 25% Merlot and 5% Syrah, this full-bodied and rich blended red offers tremendous depth with wonderful ripe dark flavors and aromas accented with smoke and spice. For over 100 years Finca Flichman has produced top quality wines in the Mendoza and the Dedicado is only crafted in finer vintages with superior grapes. This velvety smooth Malbec-dominated red is stunning and is certain to impress all guests invited over for your summer cookout. Terrific on its own or great with barbeque, don’t miss out!

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Lisa Porter Lisa Porter Stuart, Florida

Macchia Zinfandel Mischievous Lodi


Wow, what a Zinfandel! Macchia is Italian for “spot” and this wine hits the sweet spot on the palate. Crafted from 50-year-old Zinfandel vines thriving within Lodi this full-bodied red showcases dark fruit flavors laced with pepper on the palate which are enhanced with a wonderful spiciness on the long and silky finish. Owners and winemakers, Tim and Lani Holdener sure know how to make wines pleasing to the palate and don’t we all need some “mischief” in our lives! This marvelous Zinfandel is incredible on its own and would definitely complement peppered steaks or any red meat you are adventurous enough to grill this summer.

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David Eddlemon David Eddlemon Raleigh, North Carolina

Phebus Malbec Gran Reserva


It can be too easy in the summertime months to drink white wines and roses exclusively. Fortunately I never let this beauty slip too far from my mind. Produced by Fabre Montmayou, this top-tier offering from the Phebus label is a sultry, spicy, and powerful Malbec with enough fruit to please your guests as well as enough complexity and depth to stand up to any meat you place on the grill.

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Susan Anderson Susan Anderson Atlanta, Georgia

River Road Pinot Noir Russian River Valley Reserve


The morning fog and cool ocean breezes of the Pacific Ocean create ideal growing conditions for the finicky Pinot Noir grape. This natural air-conditioning allows the grape to develop a full flavor while retaining its natural acidity and freshness. And this Pinot Noir is textbook in quality and elegance. The striking bouquet is bright with black cherry, plum and notes of cola, earth and baking spices. With the temperatures increasing, I would suggest serving this wine slightly chilled with Grilled Salmon and a summer fruit salsa or Asian marinated Pork Tenderloin at your next outdoor Saturday night dinner.

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Matt Monroe Matt Monroe Spokane, Washington

Sheridan Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima


Want a terrific Cabernet to impress your friends? The Sheridan Cabernet fits the bill. It entices you with aromas of blackberry with touches of oak and vanilla. Upon sipping you are impressed with the richness and intensity of the berry flavors with cinnamon and toasty oak appearing as it glides across your palate ending with a silky and velvety finish. A great wine for both your California Cabernet lover as it has that rich and intense fruit, as well as the Bordeaux lover as it has that elegance, nuance and structure.

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Rebecca Davidson Rebecca Davidson Reno, Nevada

Sonoma Loeb Chardonnay Envoy


Looking for a superior Chardonnay that will delight your palate? Look no further than Sonoma Loeb’s tiny production Envoy. Crafted by renowned winemaker, Phillip Titus by hand-sorted Carneros fruit … this Chardonnay offers pure, rich and well-defined flavors of honeydew melon, tangerine and pears. With perfectly integrated oak, this complex white is stunning and incredibly delicious and the finish is everlasting with nuances of fig and smoke. I would highly, highly recommend this beauty with pork, chicken or pasta dishes or for sipping enjoyment on your deck or patio on its own. Get some while you can!

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Theo Snyder TheoSnyder Sacramento, California

Tsarine Brut Premium Cuvee


This stunning Champagne is dry, crisp and very clean. Tsarine is one of the oldest houses in Champagne and was the first to supply sparkling to the Russian Court. Crafted from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it boasts tree fruit with flowers accompanied by hints of citrus. The long and pleasant finish is filled with nutty toast and yeast. This delicious and wonderfully elegant sparkler is perfect for celebrating the everyday or for that special occasion or summer wedding.

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