Summer Wines for the Cocktail Drinker.

The wine section of the liquor store can be intimidating. Bottles upon bottles, crazy labels, boring labels, and prices that mean nothing to the average buyer. I have been there. Before I was a bonafide wino and wine geek, I too stared into that abyss and reached for the cutest label. While I will always look fondly back on the days of drinking Cupcake Moscato on my dorm room floor, I have discovered a whole universe of delicious wine that was intimidating to me before. I have gone ahead and done the hard work of geeking out, now you can reap the rewards.

I describe wine in terms of cocktails because most drinkers can name a delicious cocktail and tell you why they like it. It’s the same with wine- love Margaritas? You’ll probably dig German Rieslings. They are sweet, sour, salty and citrusy. See? Not so hard. So pick your favorite cocktail and I will tell you how to find it’s twin in the wine section.

1. Cosmopolitan: Grenache Rose


Rose is finally cool again, which is great news because it is the perfect summer drink. Craving the bright, fruity refreshing taste of a perfect cosmo? Get yourself some Grenache Rose. The Grenache is best known for being a spicy, heavy, serious red wine grape but when you make Rose with it, you get a pink wine that’s bursting with berries and peaches. Is your mouth watering? Good. Get thee to a store and pick up this killer example that comes IN  A CAN. You heard me right. Hand-picked, wicked good and $7. You are welcome. O


Alloy Wine Works Can Grenache Rose 2015- $7

h, and it fits in your purse you so can sneak it into the park
and drink it al fresco on the DL.

pink sparkling


2. Margaritas: Dry German Riesling.


geil-milde-rieslingThe “Margarita Effect” is actually a term used by German winemakers to describe the perfect balance of citrus fruit, salt and sweet in the most
popular grape variety of the country. Ask for dry so you don’t get stuck with a
sugar bomb. People often say they can taste the stony slate that this grape is grown on, I think that it tastes like there’s an ice cube in your glass giving you that bright minerality.


Geil Reisling Kabinett- $14

witch margarita

3. Negroni- Beaujolais Villages

Somebody’s fancy! So there’s a misconception that red wines are for the Domaine-Lagneau-Beaujolais-Villages-Burgundy-France-2011colder months- not true. Beaujolais can be delicate, with the tannins to satisfy the part of you that clearly appreciates a little bitter in life. Like the negroni, it is seasonless. As comforting on a fall day as it is refreshing on your balcony in August. Make sure to chill it before drinking – it makes a huge difference.

My suggestion: Domain Lagneau Beaujolais Villages 2014-  $17

drink wine

4. Old Fashioned: Georgian Rkatsiteli (Orange Wine)

Orange Wine is probably the most exciting trend in wine right pheastants
now. It is nothing new, though, it has been made in the Caucuses for 5,000 years. The very first wine was made in clay vessels called Kvevri- and it still is to this day. Onto the fun part. Rkatsiteli will appeal to Old Fashioned drinkers because of the honey, dried fruit, and orange rind notes. Because the grapes ferment partially with the skins and seeds, it has tannins that make it delightfully bitter. Citrus rinds + bitter tannins + woody undertones = a wine Don Draper himself might fall for. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce the name, I can’t either.

My suggestion: Pheasant’s Tears 2013  Rkatsiteli – $15

draper clap






*This was originally for a US-based site, so the prices are in US dollars but almost all of these are available in the EU as well*




So, I have to admit that despite my health being the motivator to eat my best I still falter. You would think that with all I know I could just forego sugar especially, but I find myself sometimes “off the wagon” and I have to find a way to get back to strict nutrition. I find myself in that place now, I have had a relapse after weeks of great moods and I can tie it directly to having sugar at work. I have to quit this habit, it clearly is hurting me.

I have many weaknesses as a girl who loves all things food, and those are cheeses, chocolates and wines. I’m sure that there are arguments to be made about not using something edible to motivate you to clean up your eating habits, but I am always going to love those things best. Right now, I am having an amazing time learning about German wines. I have a long list of wines I have never had and cannot wait to try.

I currently have a biodynamic Gewürztraminer (ok, not Germany but Alsace is pretty gewurztraminer-turckheim-2006close) that I am so excited to try. So, I’ve bitten the bullet and instead of opening it this
weekend I am going to set it aside for another week and ONLY if I can stay away from sugar all week, do I get to taste this incredible wine.

So, yeah. I am pretty confident that I can get back on track knowing what lies at the end of next week if I succeed.

Anyone else give themselves these kinds of challenges?

Weingut Henson Weissburgunder Chardonnay 2014


Region: Bad Durkheim, Pfalz

Tasting notes: A lot of acidity, I think I’d prefer it a little more balanced but the wine definitely reflects the strengths of both the varietals. Good structure and very aromatic. Citrus and slate on the palate with tropical fruits on the nose. I feel like this would be excellent in hot weather, our bottle didn’t last the night but the high acid makes me think this could last a few days and still keep it’s bright, cheery kick. It is 13% alcohol which I think is high but I find a lot of the wines I drink out of this region are similarly strong.

Eaten with: Pork chops and apples, roasted carrots.