06/30/09 – wines for the beach

By Jesse on June 29, 2009

How is it possible that the LA Winos have never had a “beach wines” tasting? Let’s take care of that oversight right now.

Whether or not you plan to visit the shore on the upcoming anniversary of our nation’s independence from Gordon Brown, everyone can agree that “beach season” is definitely upon us. Moreover, our meeting this week is being held in Hermosa Beach, one of only nineteen municipalities in the southland with “beach” in its name. Coincidence?? Not if we don’t want it to be.

So what kind of wine might pair well with hot sun and cool waves, you ask? Ideally, you’ll want something refreshing, light, and drinkable. Also, make sure it’s versatile — after all, beach cuisine is pretty varied, including all manner of delights from grilled burgers to potato salad to roasted marshmallows. Your wine needs to be able to play many roles.

Here are some possibilities…

White: Bubbly’s always a festive choice for the beach. Try a Crémant or a Prosecco if the subtleties of Champagne seem wasted under the hot sun. Torrontés, that wacky white from Argentina, might compliment the beach nicely with its floral nose and natural acidity. Or what about Muscadet, that unheralded western Loire appellation, whose crisp wintes are often cited as perfect seafood wines?

Rosé: Scoring high on the versatility scale, rosé definitely ranks among the most refreshing wines of summer. I like mine dry, and the go-to destination for delicious dry rosé is Provence, where they’re made with Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsaut, and a litany of other varietals.

Served with a slight chill on them, light-bodied reds offer a refreshing alternative to the endless slew of white wine we encounter in the summertime. It’s hard to beat Beaujolais for fresh berry deliciousness, but there are plenty of other light-bodied reds that are worth your attention as well.

For this meeting, feel free to bring any type of white, red, rosé, or bubbly — just be prepared to explain to us why you think it’ll pair well with the seaside. (As always, you can opt to bring $10 instead.)

We’ll be meeting at Giselle’s place in beautiful Hermosa. The RSVP system functions like this: if you’d like to attend, you click on this link and tell me so. Once you’ve gotten your confirmation e-mail, go out and find yourself a bottle of beach-friendly wine — or simply bring a $10 donation, if you prefer. We’ll see you on Tuesday at 9pm!