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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Lauren Ashton Cellars – Wine You Can Count On

If you are looking for a Washington winery that produces consistently great wine at a decent price point, look no further than Lauren Ashton Cellars. We have enjoyed these impressive wines since the day when talented winemaker Kit Singh and his wife Riinu opened their Woodinville winery. And their two June releases continue in the fine tradition we’ve come to know and respect; extraordinary wines for an enduring value.

So read on to find out more about Lauren Ashton Cellars 2014 Syrah and 2018 Cuvée Meline. Both were released early this month, and you do not want to miss them.

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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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Henschke Wines – Part 2

This is the inside of the beautiful Cellar Door of Henschke, a 157-year-old family-owned winery located in Keyneton, South Australia. We visited last month, and discovered amazing family history, lovely people and exceptional wines.

This post focuses on some of the outstanding wines we tasted. Our previous post, Part 1, features Henschke’s history. And the third post highlights more stellar Henschke wines.
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