“I can’t drink red wine in the summer when the sun is still up.” A quote from a friend when we were trying to decide on a bottle at dinner. Since it was 7:30 and the sun was still up, we ordered a bottle of white. In addition, Southwest Florida is in the middle of an oppressive heat wave so something light and refreshing is in high demand. Here are five white wines to beat the heat for Wine Wednesday.

I can’t think of a better summer wine than rose. However, August is National Rose Month. I’ll dive into that wine next week. In addition, sparkling wine is always in fashion when it is hot out. Just keep an ice bucket on hand to keep it nice and cool. There is nothing more unappetizing than warm, flat Champagne or Prosecco.

When it comes to white wine, chardonnay is one of the most planted and most popular white grapes worldwide. However, not all are refreshing. Some are big and even viscous. During summer, look for an unoaked chardonnay for something a little more lively.

Glass of white wine by the pool

White wines are the best wines on a hot summer day

Sauvignon Blanc is a tropical favorite known for being acidic and citrusy. However, those made in California often have a little more rounded fruit flavors than those from New Zealand and Australia.

In addition, check out the Italian section of your wine shop. There are some amazing, crisp and refreshing white wines from here besides pinot grigio. Look for Gavi di Gavi, Soave, Arneis, and Vermentino to name a few. From Argentina, a country known for big reds, comes Torrontes. It has a nice floral and stone fruit component to it. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on a white grape that you have not tried before. If it’s not your favorite, you can always repurpose it into a spritzer, sangria or cooking.

Finally, here are some thirst quenching examples of five white wines to beat the heat for Wine Wednesday.

  • Kris Pinot Grigio

    Pinot Grigio is grown in many parts of the world and in Italy, but those made in Alto Adige (Northern Italy) are extra special. This is one of them. Best of all, Kris is easy to find in big retailers and it is a good value. It has a floral nose with white peach. Peach and pear are also on the palate along with citrus. It’s zippy with some lingering spice on the finish. A great little wine. $15
    Bottle of Kris Pinot Grigio

  • Quivira Fig Tree Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

    Quivira makes some lovely wines. This one is from Sonoma and has that signature grapefruit smell. There is grapefruit on the palate as well, along with some lemon and an interesting herbal note. Serve it with vegetables including asparagus. Good example of a nice sauv blanc. $30
    Bottle of Quivera Sauvignon Blanc

  • Chatuea Beaubois Expression

    I’m a fan of red Rhone blends, but there are some great white blends from this region in southern France too. Expression is one of them. A bend of Roussanne, Grenache, Viognier and Vermintino, it smells lush and was a little leaner than I expected. Tropical with a touch of pineapple it finishes with a curious savory note. This is a good grilling wine. Under $20
    Bottle of Chatuea Beaubois wine

  • Ram's Gate Carneros Pinot Blanc

    Pinot Blanc is a genetic mutation of pinot noir. Wine from these grapes can be made in a range of styles, light and fresh or rich like a chardonnay. It’s rare to find in Sonoma but Ram’s Gate is  having some fun with it. The wine is as elegant as the bottle it comes in. It is fresh, with citrus but has a nice roundness due to time spent in oak. Fun find.  $48
    bottle of Ram's Gate Pinot Blanc

  • Cru Unoaked Chardonnay

    This is a great example of a lighter style, refreshing chardonnay. From Arroyo Seco, California, this wine has nice citrus and apple flavors. It’s got great acid but wont dry your mouth out and still has a nice roundness in the mid-palate. It is bright, good with food, or simply sipping. I love this little chardonnay. $20

    Bottle of Cru Chardonnay

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