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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Visiting Villa Maria in Marlborough-Part 2

This is the second of a two-part series about our wonderful time at Villa Maria‘s Cellar Door in Marlborough, New Zealand. Our host, winemaker Kathrin (Kat) Jankowiec, is talented, creative, knowledgeable and friendly. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience at the most-awarded winery in New Zealand.

And the wines are magnificent. Kat poured nine for us, ranging in price from $16-$43. Read on for more details. And then, head out to your nearest retailer that sells Villa Maria wine to pick up a few bottles. Of note, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a distribution partner for Villa Maria, therefore many wines are readily available in the U.S.

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Wonderful Woodward Canyon

Rick and Darcey Small founded Woodward Canyon Winery in 1981, the second winery in the Walla Walla Valley. (Leonetti Cellar opened just four years earlier.) Rick’s family farmed for multiple generations on land that is now the estate vineyard.

In 2003, winemaker Kevin Mott joined the team. And today, Woodward Canyon is one of the most-acclaimed wineries in Walla Walla.

Woodward Canyon is known for its gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignons, in addition to Bordeaux-style blends, Merlot and Chardonnay. Of note, the winemaking focus is on quality over quantity.

We visit the Woodward Canyon tasting room every time we’re in Walla Walla. Recently, we stopped in when we attended the Wine Bloggers Conference.

These are our favorite “special occasion” wines during that trip: Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon, Charbonneau Red and Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon.
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