Summer wines on dinner table
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman / Food Stylist: Anna Stockwell

25 Sommeliers on the One Wine They’re Drinking This Summer

published Jul 18, 2021
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The wine and hospitality industry can be a tough business — especially this past year — so it’s telling what experts reach for when they’re off the clock and it’s time to recover from a long day. So, we asked 25 sommeliers and wine experts from all over the country (and in Canada and Spain) to tell us the one wine they’ll be reaching for all summer. If they could only have one bottle on repeat, which one would it be?

The responses have us thirsty and furiously filling our online shopping carts. We heard about lots of aromatic whites, light reds, and plenty of bubbly. And while rosé isn’t getting the breathless press it was a few years ago, wine pros are still drinking plenty of pink wine. (Like loyal fans of a band that hit it big, wine nerds loved rosé before it was cool, and they’ll love it after, too.)

Read on to expand your wine horizons and drink like a somm.

Credit: Schaefer’s

1. A $23-White That Tastes Like Summer

“This wine is like summer itself! Intensely aromatic and floral with notes of honeysuckle and acacia with very ripe honeydew melon and peach notes. On the palate it’s got some weight, feels luscious with soft acidity and warm alcohol. For $23 it is a ton of flavor.” — Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, master of wine and spirits expert

Buy: Cass Viognier Paso Robles, $23 at Schaefer’s


2. A Chilled Red

“One bottle I know I’ll be drinking all summer long is Brick House’s Gamay Noir from Ribbon Ridge in Willamette Valley, Oregon. But how is a red wine a summer wine? you might be asking yourself. Let me remind you: I live in San Francisco, where the air cools down immensely by 6 p.m., and a beautiful glass of light-bodied, utterly delicious red straight from my cellar-temp wine fridge is just what I need. I drink this bottle around 52 to 57 degrees, so even on the hottest day this is a red that will cool me down.” — Cara Patricia, cofounder and sommelier at DECANTsf

Buy: Brick House Vineyards Gamay Noir, $36 at DECANTsf

Credit: Plum Market

3. A Perfect Poolside Sipper

“My go-to wine for the last couple of years has been Pieropan Soave Classico. I find that it fits the bill for pretty much any summer occasion — whether that’s sipping it on its own by the pool or pairing it with a broad range of summer dishes.” — Louise Jordan, manager, wine & spirits media relations at E&J Gallo and DipWSET

Buy: Pieropan Soave Classico, $15 at Plum Market


4. A Sparkling Riesling

“I’ll be drinking sparkling riesling. There’s something about [the bubbles] that makes it feel like a vacation — and that’s how I want to feel all summer.” — Jermaine Stone, founder and CEO of CruLove Wine, host of the Wine & Hip Hop podcast

Note: Jermaine’s pick (Weiser-Kuenstler Enkircher Zeppwingert Sekt) is not widely available online, but here is another high-quality sparkling riesling from a different German riesling producer: Robert Weil Rheingau Riesling Brut Sekt, $40 at

Credit: Madwine

5. A $14 Rosé 

“I am in love with Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé from the eastern shores of Lake Garda. Chiaretto is the local word for rosé. I discovered these beautiful wines in 2020 and I have been falling for them ever since. These are made from local grape varieties that are crisp and just simply delicious.” — Yannick Benjamin, sommelier of Contento in East Harlem, NY

Buy: Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé, $14 at Madwine

Credit: Wine Library

6. A Dry Chenin Blanc

“We always have some Chenin at the house; it’s in constant rotation. It truly runs the full gamut. Dry to off-dry, mineral-driven to fruit-forward — it can pretty much always deliver something for any situation. I’m especially fond of Michel Autran in Vouvray (from still to sparkling … for real, it’s all fantastic) for lean, clean, and crisp wine. Other favorites include Kloof Street in Swartland, South Africa, for a richer, rounder, riper style that is easy to love, and even easier to drink.” — Vanessa Cominsky, wine and spirits specialist, Prestige Ledroit Distributing Co. in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Binny's

7. A Crémant That’s More Like a Lifestyle

“My current obsession is Parigot & Richard, the first and one of a few exclusively making Crémant in Burgundy, France. Their Crémant de Bourgogne is not a byproduct of other wines they make: It is their sole production. It’s not just a project — it’s a lifestyle.” — Sarah Pierre, owner of 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta, GA

Credit: Heights Chateau

8. A Crisp $16-Wine That Shines at Cookouts

“My favorite summer wine is Donnachiara Greco di Tufo, 2019. I love this wine because it’s bright, crisp, aromatic, and pairs well with a wide variety of foods. Lately, I’ve been pairing this wine with summer BBQ items like macaroni salad, baked beans, vegetable kebabs, potato chips, and grilled tofu steaks with A1 sauce. Cheers!” — Mandy Nash, author of Merlot and Brussels Sprouts

Buy: Donnachiara Greco di Tufo, $16 at Heights Chateau


9. A White That’s Stone Fruit-y

“This summer, my go-to bottle is Troupis Moschofilero from Peloponnese in Greece. It reminds me of first-of-the season peaches and apricots, and it has a beautiful saline finish. I’ll be drinking it with grilled vegetables doused in olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkled with whatever herbs I have on hand.” — Alex Ring, wine director of Sepia and PROXI in Chicago

Buy: Troupis Moschofilero, $20 at

Credit: Verve Wine

10. An Underrated Rosé

“I will be drinking Yves Leccia’s 2018 Patrimonio Rosé all summer. Coming from Corsica, France, blended with Niellucciu and Grenache, I think it’s one of the most overlooked and underrated rosés on the market. The dominating note is fresh strawberries through and through with a hint of herbaceous-ness. Its clean, bright acidity and refreshing minerality will complement the majority of summer dishes as well as cool you down as a poolside sipper!” — Michael Smith, sommelier at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, CA

Buy: Yves Leccia Patrimonio Rosé, $26 at Verve Wine


11. A Deep, Nuanced Rosé 

“The 2020 Château de Trinquevedel Tavel Rosé is undoubtedly the wine I will be drinking all summer long — at a dinner party with friends, after work, at the beach. You get it. The blood-orange color pops in the glass, and the wine itself is beautiful, nuanced, and has textures that keep you yearning for that next sip.” — Faith Comas, sommelier and CMO of SOMLYAY LLC

Credit: Wired for Wine

12. A Sparkling Wine from Spain

“The one wine I plan to drink all summer is a sparkling wine from Spain. This is not Cava, even though it’s from Spain: It’s an elevated sparkler. Sparkling wine is the ultimate food-pairing wine. It goes with appetizers, salads, fish, and meat. I love to pair this with anything from Lay’s potato chips to fried oyster po’ boys. It’s that versatile.” — Julia Coney, wine journalist and founder of Black Wine Professionals

Buy: Raventos i Blanc Blanc de Blanc, $23 at Wired for Wine


13. A White That’s Perfect With Shellfish

“I love [this wine] because it’s briny because of the ocean wind beating against the vines. That said, I love it with chilled shellfish during the summer like chilled shrimp, oysters, crab, etc. Have it with any sort of raw bar!” — Amy Racine, beverage director for JF Restaurants

Buy: Do Ferreiro Albarino, $29 at

Credit: Total Wine & More

14. A Splurgy Red That’s Full of Life  

“Talk about finesse: This wine is full of life and drinks easily, due to its delicate structure and perfumed aromas. Put a slight chill on the bottle and bring it to the beach!” — Michael Mighetto Hoefling, sommelier at Spruce SF in San Francisco, CA


15. A $20-Provençal Rosé 

“I love Provençal rosé — I’ll drink it by the lake, I’ll drink it with a steak. This beautiful, savory rosé from Provence is a Goldilocks summer wine for me, as it has the great acidity and freshness that I look for in a bright seasonal wine, but this particular rosé has a bit more texture and is a great food-pairing wine. Everything from sashimi to roasted veggies and fish tacos — it’s my summer staple.” — Jon McDaniel, Founder of Second City Soil in Chicago, IL

Credit: Argonaut Wine and Liquor

16. A Porch-Worthy Beaujolais Rosé

“Beaujolais rosé is one of my favorite summer finds, and I love this Gamay beauty from Domaine Dupeuble. It’s full of wild strawberries and raspberries with a hint of salinity in the finish. It pairs great with lighter summer meals or sitting on the deck with friends!” — Davis Campbell, sommelier and owner of Wines Together

Buy: Domaine Dupeuble Beaujolais Rose, $17 at Argonaut Wine and Liquor

Credit: Vanderbilt Ave. Wine Merchants

17. A Spritzy White

“My summer sip is Balea Txakoli (pronounced “cha-koh-lee”), a slightly spritzy white wine from the Basque region in Spain. It’s light, crisp, clean, and citrusy. It’s lower in alcohol than many wines, so perfect for late-afternoon [happy] hour. Fun fact: It’s traditional to pour the wine out of a ‘porron’ as far away from the glass as you can manage.” — Lacey Burke, owner of Amaranthine Collective

Buy: Balea Txakoli, $17 at Vanderbilt Ave. Wine Merchants

Credit: Flatiron Wines and Spirits

18.  A Rich, Savory White With lots of Acidity 

“Living in the Southeast, summertime is a doozy! Super hot, super humid, and the wines have to be all about refreshment! For the past couple weeks I’ve been reaching for 2018 Domaine des Hauts Baigneux, Touraine Azay le Rideau AOC, FR. Ripe in style, this wine is rich and savory with lots of great acidity, but has a marzipan-like component that really scratches all the itches.” — Matt Tunstall, co-owner AOC Restaurant Group, LLC, Stems & Skins

Buy: Domaine des Hauts Baigneaux Touraine Azay le Rideau, $20 at Flatiron Wines and Spirits

Credit: Spectrum Wine

19. Anything in Magnum Size

“Anything in MAGNUM! Now that we’re getting back to some semblance of normal, my favorite wine to drink and bring to a friend’s house is a Mag of the Massican Annia. It’s $60 and does all the things I want it to do in terms of being refreshing and perfect for poolside drinking, but it’s also incredibly pair-able with summertime foods like crudités, ceviche, and anything with lemon and butter.” — Amanda McCrossin, sommelier and content creator

Buy: Massican Annia, $60 for 1.5L at Spectrum Wine 

Credit: Wired for Wine

20. A Fruity, Herbal $19-Rosé

“I’ll be drinking as much Thibaud Boudignon Rosé de Loire 2020 as I can get my greedy hands on. It’s a pink expression of cool-climate Cabernet Franc (with a little Grolleau). I love the match of freshness and precision with piercing, pure strawberry fruit and herbal aromas. Thibaud is a heck of a talent.” — Steven Grubbs, wine director of Empire State South, Five & Ten, The National and Hotel Effie

Buy: Thibaud Boudignon Rosé de Loire, $19 at Wine Library


21. A Red For Grilling and Chilling  

“When the heat is dialed up I tend to go to Italian, French, and Spanish whites, but for this summer my go-to is a Cotes du Rhone from higher elevation made by Francois Vallot. The 2019 can be slightly chilled and pairs so well with grilled fish and charred vegetables. The wine is fresh and vibrant with a nerve that meets a grill-and-chill atmosphere.” — Mary Maust, senior account manager at The Wine Merchant 

Credit: Free Range Wine & Spirits

22. A Finger Lakes Find

“Despite always wanting to try something new, this summer I’ve made sure to stock my cellar with Kelby James Russel Rosé of Cabernet Franc from Finger Lakes, New York. I haven’t listed a vintage here and that’s purposeful. It’s great to drink young with all the spring and summer produce. But don’t worry about buying too much! It ages beautifully.” — Jamie Harrison Rubin, hospitality consultant and co-host of You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Bottle


23. A $17-Lambrusco

“For me, summertime is a call for Lambrusco. Inexpensive and unpretentious, this wine is already a perfect complement to a charcuterie board and perfect for a picnic, but also made for BBQ. A chilled sparkling red on a hot summer evening with burgers, brats, and/or ribs? Count me in.” — Christopher Chandler, certified sommelier, certified specialist of wine

Credit: Some Good Wine

24. An Affordable Chablis

“Affordable Chablis? Yes, please! This discreet Chablis has both the capacity to refresh your palate on a hot summer day, but it also shows great typicity and vivacity. Thanks to long aging on fine lees, Chablis Saint Martin offers the typical minerality.” — Joanie Metivier, wine writer and head sommelier at Auberge Ripplecove in Canada

Buy: Domaine Laroche Chablis Saint-Martin, $35 at Some Good Wine

Credit: Wine Library

25. An Elegant, $20-White

“Fiano at its best: elegant and vibrant, perfect for a hot summer.” — Filippo Edera, sommelier and bartender in Spain

Buy: Ciro Picariello Fiano di Avellino, $20 at Wine Library

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman / Food Stylist: Anna Stockwell