Column: Sensational summer sippers

It’s June and as we approach the longest day, here are three wine picks to celebrate the official start of summer. There’s something good from Germany, something casual from Chile and something special from New Zealand.

If you believe that wines have a personality, then Riesling is a beauty that needs no makeup or jewels. She’s stunning in her elegance and simplicity.

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Taste My Karp 2017 Riesling ($19.99) from the gorgeous Mosel in Germany for example. If you think that something sounds fishy in the name, you’re right! Produced by the Karp-Schreiber family, they started in 1664 as fishermen and winemakers.

Rieslings are often colourless but the Karp is medium straw, which indicates this white wine will be memorable. The nose has both a floral and a citrus aroma with a hint of petrol, very typical in many well-made Rieslings.

In your mouth you can taste the fruity lemon and apple pie flavours along with the minerals that Mosels are known for. Although the Karp is off dry (two on the 10 point sweetness scale) it is definitely not sweet! Rieslings enjoy a high level of acidity which balances the bit of sweetness so the residual sugar is barely perceptible.

With a name like Karp and with a citrus personality, it will go well with seafood, whether it’s red snapper, halibut, trout or salmon. And of course sushi would be also a great match. Or tandoori chicken, Vietnamese cuisine… Riesling is so versatile!

From Chile comes Oops 2017 Carménère ($13.99), the lost grape of Bordeaux. Originally from Frances, it was transplanted to Chile where for over a century it was thought to be Merlot. Not until 1994 was the mistake realized and it was properly named Carménère. Oops!

The Oops enjoys a bouquet of plums and spice. Take a sip and savour the plums, cherries and chocolate. It is very affordable with gentle tannins, good balance and plenty of character to please.

Finally, a red that is perfect for summer days and summer nights. You can enjoy it on the patio as an aperitif or with red meat at dinner. It’s the Auntsfield Single Vineyard 2017 Pinot Noir ($31.99) from the southern valleys of Marlborough, New Zealand.

We normally expect that only Sauvingon Blancs and other whites come from Marlborough country but this red proves that in the right places and with the right climate, Pinots can thrive there too.

This is the first time I’ve sampled Auntsfield and I am impressed! First there’s a gorgeous Burgundian red colour to admire and to portent good things to come. And then there’s the intoxicating bouquet of black cherry, beetroot, and “the woods in autumn.” Sip some and enjoy the silky mouth feel that really good Pinot’s display. If you dislike heavy tannins in a red, this red’s for you!

There are also flavours of black cherry, boysenberry, black currant, vanilla and herbs! This wine has plenty of presence and tastiness. Enjoy with your next rack of lamb or lamb burgers on the barbie!

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