The Momofuku Beverage Director and founder of Bellus Wines tells us all about the perfect reds for warm-weather seasons.
- The best affordable late-summer reds are…
Bénédicte & Stéphane Tissot Poulsard, Jura, France 2012 ($28)
It is a light red wine from the Jura that’s bright, fresh and so pale that it almost acts like a deep-colored, textured rosé. Fresh wild strawberries, limestone and rose petals are the primary notes here. This wine is particularly versatile — it’s delicious with everything from shrimp cocktail to seared tuna salad to a bowl of roasted almonds. It’s also delicious on its own and is best served slightly chilled.
Clos Cibonne Cuvée Spéciale Tibouren, Côtes de Provence, France 2012 ($25)
Made from Tibouren grapes (a favorite of Julius Caesar) grown just 800 meters from the Mediterranean ocean, this light-bodied red wine is reminiscent of fresh red berries, lavender and fresh Provençal herbs. The spices render this a perfect wine for grilled meats like chicken or lamb. We added this wine to the list at Momofuku Má Pêche, and it’s flying.
Olivier Lemasson Les Vins Contés Poivre et Sel, Touraine, Loire Valley, France 2012 ($22)
Through a process called carbonic maceration, the Poivre et Sel ends up with soft, silky tannins and bright fresh black cherry notes. As the name suggests, this wine also boasts beautiful saline minerality and black pepper. It’s so bright and quaffable, it’s delicious on its own but would be great with everything from cured meats to grilled poultry to cheese.
- And if you want to go for broke…
Domaine Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Burgundy, France 2009
Jean Foillard Morgon 3.14, Beaujolais, France 2009
- Best wine to bring to a grilling party…
AmByth Zinfandel from Paso Robles. It’s unlike any Zinfandel you’ve ever had before, but it’s supple enough to work with grilled chicken and structured enough to work with beef ribs.
- And to a late-summer picnic…
From the Tank Rosé is a boxed rosé made from Grenache and Syrah grapes in Costières de Nîmes, France, that’s an amazing value and quite delicious. (It’s also made with natural yeasts and no additives.) We served this recently during our Boxed vs. Bottled Wines class for Momofuku Má Pêche Presents: Summer Sessions, and people loved it.
- And to sound like a wine expert…
Ask if your summer red is available served chilled, and look for wines made by carbonic maceration — they are generally fruity, low in tannin and perfect for late summer.