Summer… a time for relaxing and just kicking back, whether on the deck, in the garden, or at the shore. Whether the air is warm and breezy with blue skies overhead, or lazy, hazy and humid, it's time to gather with friends around good food and, of course, good wine. Here are thoughts on the subject. 

We are featuring three wines here at Palate to help get your summer events in gear; a hearty red, a crisp white and a light pleasing rose. As to how many glasses of each, just remember: "People who wonder if the glass is half full or half empty miss the point. You can always refill it".

Our featured red is a Tuscan standout, a remarkable Chianti for the price ($15). The 2014 San Enrico Tenuta La Gigliola is 85 percent Sangiovese and 15 percent Canaiolo Colorino with great color and soft tannins, while maintaining rich fruit aromas characteristic of the two grapes. Taste the peppery note making for a fine, long finish. Great with bar-b-que, steak or hearty pasta dishes.

Our featured white comes from Austria, the 2015 GV Gruner Vertliner ($13). This is a wine that should be drunk early and often. This ideal summer wine is Austria's most famous white, young and crisp with a green and herbaceous flavor and an acidity that explodes in the mouth. You'll find this Gruner Vertliner an ideal companion for salads, seafood or light pastas. It is one of the few wines that can be paired with asparagus or artichokes, grilled or steamed. And of course it is great for just sipping.

No wine is perhaps as strongly tied in with summer than a fine rose and we have one of the best: our 2016 Domaine Houchart Cotes de Provence ($16). This luscious rose is made from grapes typical of southern France: Grenache, Syrah Cinsault, Cabernet Saivignon and Mourvèdre. Quite a mouthful there, but oh, what a delight on the palate. Just enough acidity to stimulate, and a delicate hint of citrus that softens as it goes down. This is a wine that stands on its own for just pouring and sipping, again and again until, whoops, I guess we finished that off... As you recall that that glass is refillable... Domaine Houchart Rose is a good friend with oysters, shellfish or a zesty chicken salad, or as an apéritif with almonds or olives.

So come on in and hear some more about these enjoyable selected wines. Conversation, humor and learning a little about wine is also part of the experience at Palate Wines & Spirits. We'll all enjoy. A bientot.

Yaakov Sullivan