Summer Sippers and BBQ Reds

Oh summer! The time of crisp white wine or refreshing rosé during sultry warm afternoons or evenings on the deck or patio, or at the lake, ocean or pool. The time of rich reds at barbecues with family and friends. And the wines that pair well with a celebratory toast to Independence Day.

Here are some of our favorite whites and rosés to sip with a summer salad, or seafood such as prawns, scallops, sushi, crab or halibut. Or you can simply drink pink without food, watching the sunset reflected in its pretty color. In addition, here are some beautiful reds to pour at your BBQ.

There are so many wonderful wines to explore this summer. But we had to keep our lists short. As a result, these represent only wines that we have tasted in recent months, either at tasting rooms, events or in samples sent to us by wineries. Specifically, these wines are from Washington state, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Italy.

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Bayernmoor Cellars – a New WA Winery

Bayernmoor Cellars is a new, small winery that opened up recently in Stanwood in western Washington. First, attorney Larry Harris and his family established a six-acre vineyard of Pinot Noir. Next, other grapes were sourced from premium Washington vineyards Destiny Ridge, Otis, Klipsun and Celio.

The family decided to focus on European-style wines that showcase the beautiful grapes grown here, and asked pioneer Washington winemaker Brian Carter to join their team.

Recently, we were fortunate to taste three lovely Bayernmoor wines: 2018 Rosé, 2017 Chardonnay and 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Wines with Soul – Soul Growers

In March, we visited Soul Growers in Australia’s Barossa Valley and discovered two things. First, Soul Growers wines are fantastic. Second, the guys behind Soul Growers are as hilarious as they are dedicated to making fine wine. Soul Growers has a unique concept, with winemaking revolving around the growers who create the fruit. It all began in 1998 when four friends in the corporate world — Stu, Paul, Tom and Leigh — decided to join forces and create wines and a brand that spoke to the Barossa.

Stu hosted our visit, which was simultaneously fun and educational. And wow, we love Soul Growers wines. We are not surprised that renowned Australian wine critic James Halliday gave Soul Growers five stars. And the good news – their wines are available in the U.S. and Canada.
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David Phinney’s Department 66

D66 Wine by David PhinneyWinemaker David Phinney made his mark with The Prisoner, a best-selling and widely recognized Napa Valley red blend of Zinfandel with the unlikely mix of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Charbono.

A couple of years ago, Phinney sold The Prisoner to beverage giant Constellation Brands for $285 million. He then turned more attention to another grape.
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