While there are a lot of events crammed into our summer, sometimes the best way to enjoy the season is to just sit in your backyard with a few friends, a few beverages and a few big slabs of meat on the grill.
That’s exactly the situation Avenue’s Backyard Guide is designed to help you make the most of. With tips and tricks for everything from furnishing a backyard to attracting some feathered friends, it’s got everything you need to make this summer spectacular.
It’s not unheard of to have a glass of a warm pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon and be turned off after one glass under the hot summer sun. Vinomania owner Gurvinder Bhatia explains that, during those hot summer months, there’s nothing wrong with chilling your red wine just a little bit to take the edge off.
“People will automatically generalize about wine based on the grape or on the region,” says Bhatia. “It’s more important to look at the producers and understanding how the wine balances with your meal.”
Bhatia points out that great summer wines don’t necessarily come from grapes that make lighter-style wines, but rather wine varieties that better balance the sweet with the acidity, making for a fresh-tasting experience that complements the summer sun.
“A lot of wines taste very one-dimensional, and that comes from the production and the handling,” says Bhatia. “You want to have more dimension to your wine and have that freshness on the finish.”
Bhatia has two personal favourite go-to wines for the summer months, the first being a zinfandel from Renwood Winery in California. He explains that zinfandels can have a lot of intensity and the ones from California can be very overdone. “The Renwood zinfandel, though, just finishes off beautifully with that freshness,” he points out.
His other summer favourite is Sicily’s Azienda Agricola COS. He describes the Sicilian wine as having “beautiful minerality [sic] from the grapes being grown around the southeastern side of Italy.” He also points out that Azienda Agricola COS’s wines always have that depth he looks for in a summer wine. “They are absolute rock stars at balanced wines.”