John Steinbeck once asked, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” A sip of the perfect white wine on a golden afternoon is like a snowflake in June: all the sweeter for its cool, refreshing contrast.
Warmer temperatures are on their way in many parts of the country, and many of us are looking forward to sharing the sunshine together after spending months inside and away from friends and family. This guide to the best white wines for summer 2021 will help you choose varieties and vintages that will suit both your tastes and the warmer temperatures.
Choosing White Wines for Warm Weather
Matching wine with a season is much like pairing wine with food—except, in this case, it’s all about contrast. Some of the best choices for warm weather are refreshing, light to medium-bodied white wines. Likewise, a medium to full-bodied white wine may provide the perfect characteristics to dazzle your guests.
The following wines are perfect selections for our first summer out of the pandemic as we gather again with friends and family to relax and appreciate the lush season together.
These classic white wines bring a sense of ephemeral elegance to the sunny season that’s both refreshing and timeless. In the following section, we’ll explore the tasting notes for a few wines that could highlight your summer engagements, from an outdoor brunch Chablis to a showstopping white Bordeaux.
White Wines To Enjoy in Summer 2021
The following two tables serve as a helpful guide to some of the best vintages for the wines recommended above and are listed by order of rating. In the first table, you’ll find wines destined to shine at your momentous celebrations this summer—from garden gatherings to seaside receptions.
|2011 Château La Mission Haut-Brion Blanc||Multilayered and complex, this wine boasts a bouquet of peach, green fig, and lemon with a perfect balance of fruit and acidity. Look for hints of white truffle if you choose to store a few bottles for upcoming summers.||100|
|2008 Louis Roederer Cristal||Notes of peach, lemon, grapefruit, with subtle touches of vanilla bean and nectarine sorbet. A precise, powerful Champagne with fresh acidity and a cool intensity.||100|
|2014 Aubert Chardonnay Lauren Vineyard||This wine balances fresh, invigorating flavors of tropical fruit, tangerine, honeysuckle, and citrus oil. A vacation in itself.||99|
|2014 M. Chapoutier Ermitage Cuvée De L’Oree Blanc||With a perfume of honeysuckle and caramelized peach, this rich, full-bodied vintage showcases peach, melon, and pear flavors.||98|
|2016 Domaine De La Vougeraie Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru||Finely crafted with a concentrated mineral bouquet and notes of oyster shell. Lively and excellent.||95|
The wines listed below will perfectly accompany the playfulness of a summer afternoon—perhaps for an upcoming lunch beside the rooftop terrace pool at your favorite hotel.
|2007 Domaine William Fèvre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru||Lemon, lime and crushed stone with a touch of vanilla. Citrus flavors are combined with mineral and saline notes to create nuance and complexity.||96|
|2018 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre Guigne Chevres||Aromas of red berries and blood oranges. Full-bodied and fresh with a slight, peppery finish.||94|
All wines listed above are currently within their ideal drinking windows, ready to be opened and enjoyed this summer.
Storing and Serving Wines for Summer
If you’re simply looking for a little help choosing between wines you already own, you should now be better prepared to make that choice. But if you’re planning to purchase wine to drink this summer, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind.
Whatever you decide is the best white wine for your summer, be sure to double-check the optimal drinking window. Most white wines mature quickly, but some can age well for up to 10 or even 20 years. Either choose a wine that drinks well young or choose an older vintage that has had time to properly mature. (Ex-château wines, for example, are matured in producers’ cellars prior to sale.)
Furthermore, unless you are going to open your wine the day it arrives at your door, you’ll need to consider your storage options. Professional cellaring services are by far the safest option. (Buying wine direct from producers can also help prevent mishaps that can damage your wine before it reaches you.)
Once the promised day arrives and you’re ready (at last!) to enjoy your choice of white wine this summer, keep in mind that the optimal serving temperatures for light-bodied white wines tends to be around 45–50°F (7–10°C), while full-bodied white wines can be served a little warmer, typically between 50–55°F (10–13°C). If the alcohol strikes you a little too strongly (especially on the nose), try cooling your wine a little more. If the flavors seem muted, on the other hand, you may need to let it warm slightly.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.