Summer Wine Picks from a Master

Wondering what to pour and enjoy this summer? We’ve asked our wine team what they are drinking as the weather turns warm, and we’ll be sharing their answers with you this month on the blog. First up: Two great picks from Master Sommelier Sabato Sagaria

Txomin Etxaniz, Getariako Txakolina, Spain

Don’t be afraid of all the x’s and k’s unless someone drops this on you on a Scrabble board.  This is a Basque wine, and although it is difficult to pronounce (Chak-o-lee), it is easy to enjoy.  

Made with the native grape, Hondarribi Zuria, it is grown near the coast in the village of Getariako, which means it was born to go with seafood.  If you like zippy Sauvignon Blancs, this one will win your heart over with  bright citrus and gentle effervescence.

In Spain, they pour it with the glass in the left hand down by the knee and with the bottle in the right hand high over the head to accentuate the bubbles… sometimes never breaking eye contact with the guest.  Start small before you go big is my advice on this.  Grab a bottle and a dozen oysters, and waste away an afternoon on the Ajax Tavern patio.

August Kesseler, Pinot Noir Rose, Rheingau, Germany

Two of my favorite things in the summer are Rosé and Riesling. This is as close to the two you can get in a bottle.

Coming from the best Pinot producing village in Germany’s Rheinghau is a salmon-colored Rosé made from Pinot Noir (a.ka. Spatburgundger) run off.  Full of strawberries and raspberries, it is bright and fresh and just toes the line on being dry.  Ice down a bottle, bring a picnic with some cheese and fruit, and celebrate summer in a glass!

Sabato Sagaria is the Food and Beverage Director at The Little Nell and the newest Master Sommelier in the world