Many people may switch to beer or cider in the summer because they crave lighter, more refreshing fizzy drinks that can be served ice cold to beat the heat and humidity. But there’s no need to leave the wine aisle — there are plenty of simple summer wines that fill the bill and, they often cost considerably less than the more “serious” wines we crave in colder weather. Take this brisk Portuguese Vinho Verde, for example. The exact traits that make it so quenching on a hot day – low alcohol, sharp acidity, mild lemony flavors, and a flirty tickle of carbonation – make this style of wine extremely cost-effective to produce. Expensive processes like lowering crop yields, barrel-fermenting and long-term aging certainly boost wine’s richness and intensity, but usually at the expense of its refreshment factor. Younger, fresher wines are simply better-suited to summer situations – not just muggy weather, but drinking by daylight and taking meals outdoors. From hot dogs and hamburgers to salads and ceviches, lighter, bright summer wines also make perfect food partners and even taste great on ice. So banish your inner wine snob and embrace the joys of cheap summer wines like this mouthwatering white. (Fair warning – at only 9 percent alcohol, you’re likely to find yourself opening a second bottle.)
Gazela Vinho Verde, Portugal, $5.99 (regularly $8.99, sale price through July 30, 2017) PLCB Item #9677.