Second Glass – Summertime and the sippin’ is easy

By Shannon Burrows
May 3, 2019

Welcome to Second Glass! First, an apology for the inconsistent blogs as of late. There’s been some computer issues in the home office, but things seem to be working better now.
This week we are going to talk about two absolutely necessary – and completely different – summer-lovin’ wines.
I promised you a review of the Italian Pink Pinot Grigio (Winexpert, six week wine). Here’s what: Wine drinkers of all sorts are purchasing and enjoying this wine.
One customer came to bottle hers and promptly ordered a second batch. Those who enjoy more traditional dry wine styles can’t resist trying this light, off-dry (semi-sweet) wine – for themselves as well as for the company they’ll be entertaining over the summer months. Folks who consistently enjoy sweet fruit wines are stepping outside their norm to purchase themselves the slightly drier pink Pinot.
Everyone who has bought it – no matter their personal taste – has been pleased with the results. It’s selling not only for at-home, personal enjoyment, but also weddings, anniversaries and other special-event parties. I’m eagerly awaiting a second shipment of this product next week, as the first delivery has sold out.
In my humble opinion, it’s nouveau and brilliant in its innovation; the market needed something like this. Consumers were looking for something outside White Zinfandel and fruit-wine coolers for their summer-sipping purposes, and this Italian Pink Pinot Grigio delivers.
This is a particularly warm-weather friendly wine. It’s very light, crisp, pleasantly acidic and tastes like a Pinot Grigio – along with a hint of residual sugar and a flutter of red fruit – as the makers intended. Just remember, it’s light. Light in body and flavour, which makes it ideal for on-its-own sipping, or with light summer fare. If you are pairing this wine with food, do take care the cuisine does not overpower this delicate wine. Salads, simplistic fish, perhaps even chicken in a strawberry vinegarette – that one I’m just tossing out off the top of my head as a potential experiment, as salad dressings are notoriously difficult pairing partners – all could work. That being said, do also enjoy it as a poolside/patio/back deck social drink, or as an awesome aperitif prior to your meal. That would be a real hit with your guests.

Wacko for Baco

I’m going to do a 180 here, and turn things a bit on its ear. I want to talk about an entirely different summer wine option: A dry, smokey, Baco Noir.
Plenty of folks shy away from reds during hot summers. If you are one of these, hear me out: Hot weather means barbecue, and not matter if you are a wannabe, novice or boss grillmaster, your life needs the Niagara Baco Noir.
Ontario’s Niagara wine region makes a lot of Baco Noir. When RJS Craft Winemaking, one of my main suppliers, came out with Baco as part of its regular lineup, I was super skeptical. I wasn’t sure I liked the sounds of the oaky, smokey notes it boasted. With one sip of the finished product, not only did I decide I was completely wrong, but also I decided I was completely hooked.
It tastes like barbecue in a glass, and I couldn’t wait to try it with anything and everything straight off the grill. Last summer I went on a Baco-tasting rampage. Everything that came off the barbecue, I tried with this wine. When barbecue season ended, I tried it with food made on our grill pan (the goodness of a barbecue grill, without contending with the elements outdoors.)
I tried this wine with burgers, steak, pork chops, sausages, even chicken, provided it had a bit of BBQ sauce, and it proved an effortless, easygoing match.
This wine has a red fruit nose (again, fruit aromas and flavours are not to be confused with a sweet taste) along with a charcoal, red meat, bacon, smoke, barbecue sauce and bonfire (in a good way) aroma and flavour. Its tannins are smooth and subtle, but not at all absent. My cellar is no longer without this wine. (RJS Craft Winemaking, Cru International five-week wines.)

Let’s go wine tasting . . . On The Couch!

In my next blog, we’re going to talk about On The Couch wine-tasting parties. Inquiries are coming fast and furious, and if you’re interested in hosting one of these in-home, guided wine-tasting parties, we’ll cover all the ins and outs the next time we sit down together for a Second Glass.


Thanks for joining me for a Second Glass.
See you next week!

Argyle Wines Listowel is located at 155 Argyle Ave. in Listowel. Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. After hours available by appointment. Follow Argyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and contact us at 519-418-6000 or Proudly named 2018 Food & Drink Business of the Year by the North Perth Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Awards.