Whether you prefer to spend your summer lounging by the pool or surfing in the ocean, the season provides limitless opportunities for fun in the sun. But, of course, it’s also a great time to gather with loved ones and break out your favorite bottles of wine. So before your next celebration, let’s explore the best wine pairings for your favorite summer foods.
What is summer without seafood feasts? From crabs and shrimp to salmon and lobster, there is something about those trips to the beach that inspire you to indulge in seafood all summer long. The fresh and light nature of seafood often makes it a fantastic choice for lunches or dinners spent outside in the sun, making it one of the most popular wine pairings for summer food searches online. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer (because there is such a variety in seafood), most wine connoisseurs agree that white wines work best. If you prefer reds, stick with a light red wine and pair it with dishes like salmon, tuna, or swordfish. A bottle of Sweet Oaks Pinot Grigio will be perfect to have on hand for most seafood pairings.
Cookouts are another popular form of get-togethers in the summer months. The menus at these celebrations can vary widely from one host to the next, but burgers, hot dogs, and steaks are some of the most popular options. While cookouts typically lean towards casual dining, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider your wine pairings beforehand. Generally, red meats such as hamburgers and steaks will always work best with bold red wines because they can effectively cleanse the palate of fatty beef. Some popular wine pairings for summer foods like grilled hamburgers and steaks include Sweet Oaks Syrah blend and Zinfandel. But, of course, you’re are better off opting for a glass of white wine for hot dogs or bratwursts.
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Other cookout staples such as corn on the cob and potato salad tend to be simple to pair with Chardonnay or other white wines.
Salads are an ideal meal in the warm summer months. While there are many different types, most of them incorporate several varieties of vegetables. To get the best results, base your wine choice on the salad dressing rather than the salad itself because the dressing often sets the tone for the overall taste. For example, a vinegar-based or balsamic dressing will work well with acidic wines like Sweet Oaks’ “Never a Dull Moment” Pinot Noir. On the other hand, dressings like Ranch or Russian are better with Chardonnay.
Cheese and Crackers
Cheese, crackers, and wine go hand-in-hand all year, and summer is no exception. Cheese and crackers are filling without being heavy meals. They are a top choice for snacking while exploring the great outdoors. If you want to pair cheese and crackers with wine, the most important thing to consider is the type of cheese. Champagne and Brie cheese is a classic combination, as are Sauvignon Blanc and goat cheese. If you are serving multiple cheese types or are unsure which wines to pair your cheese with, opt for a mild white wine over a red. Give Sweet Oaks Pinot Grigio a try for a go-to wine to keep on hand for this pairing throughout the summer.
Watermelon is frequently served throughout the entire season. The taste is mild and sweet, so you must not overpower the delicate fruit completely. Many prefer to pair watermelon with rosé. Still, watermelon pairs well with Muscat and Port wines. Experiment with these options to decide which flavor profiles you like. We recommend giving Sweet Oaks Brosé a try with watermelon.
Aside from watermelon, other fruits are popular in summer because of their refreshing nature. From strawberries and peaches to apples and pears, these fruits can help keep you full without causing you to feel stuffed or sick due to the heat. They are sweet and can serve as the show’s star or as a sidekick to one of your favorite wines for summer. In either case, most fruits pair best with wines with fruity notes like Sweet Oaks Viognier. Sparkling white wines are ideal for berries, while fruits like bananas work better with drier wines, such as a Sauvignon Blanc.
As we all know, ice cream is a dairy-based treat that can come in many different flavors. Despite this, one key factor you should always consider regarding wine pairing. Whenever you plan to pair a dessert with a glass of wine, ensure that the wine is sweeter than the dessert. Additionally, with ice cream, be sure to consider the flavor. For example, the wine that pairs best with decadent chocolate ice cream will vary drastically from one that complements delicate strawberry notes. However, an essential wine guide for beginners will tell you that these flavor combinations are always a hit:
- Chocolate: Red Wine (Semi-Sweet Sparkling or Zinfandel)
- Vanilla: Red Wine (Semi-Sweet Sparkling)
- Strawberry: Rosé
- Coffee: Cabernet Sauvignon
- Butter Pecan: Riesling/Chardonnay
- Pistachio: Riesling/Chardonnay
If you want to keep a flexible wine to pair with desserts on hand, try Sweet Oaks 2016 Zinfandel.
Although popsicles are often grouped with ice cream, they typically refer to non-dairy, fruit-based frozen treats. Like ice cream, popsicles come in various flavors, although most have strong fruit notes. Depending on the flavor, these different tastes will offer several wine pairing options for your popsicles. Some of our favorite combinations with popsicles include sparkling white options like Sweet Oaks Champagne, sweet whites, and rosés.
Pair Your Next Meal with Sweet Oaks Wine
Now that you have your pairings, you’ll need your wines, or maybe you just need to find your new favorite wine for your next summer outing. So explore the Sweet Oaks wine collection or schedule your next tasting today! Enjoy the Sweet Life!