86 Franklin Street Westerly, RI 02891 |   (401) 596-6160
Your cart is empty

Your Destination Wine Store!

The Wine Store Blog

The Wine Store Blog
Summer Whites Jun 22, 2021

Summer is the perfect time to try new wines. The long, warm days invite afternoons and evenings of company and conversation. Visits to the beach, the pool, and with friends present opportunities to move past the marketing and explore lesser known regions and varietals. Our instinct is to settle on something dependable—an oaky California Chardonnay or the bright, crispy notes of a French Chablis—but casual summer cookouts and boat trips are a good time to try something new without concern for cellaring or labels, because the wines from the lesser known regions are inexpensive as well as delicious. Today, let’s look at three of these regions and some of the wines they offer.


It is believed the Albarino grape was introduced into Galacia, in Northwest Spain, in the 12th century, though there is some debate and many believe the grape in native to the region. Whatever the truth, over the centuries Albarino has become a dependable, refreshing white wine. It is now produced in California and Oregon, but the product coming from Spain is quirkier, with bright citrus notes and herbal, botanical undertones common to wines such as Gewurztraminer. Ten or fifteen years ago this was a little known varietal, but wine drinkers have caught on. The prices have risen slightly, but Albarino remains a fantastic value. Chilled, this wine is perfect for a long summer afternoon or a casual clambake.

Bodegas Vilariño-Cambados - Albariño Rias Baixas Martin Códax NV ($16.99)


Vinho Verde (meaning “green wine”) is produced in Portugal and remains, for many, an undervalued treat. Vinho Verde is not a wine or a grape but a large wine growing region, Minho province — in the far north of the country and nearly the size of Napa — that produces a wide variety of wines: red, rosé, as well as white. But the best-known wines from the region are the young whites, which are also made using, primarily, the Albarino grape. Maybe the “green” is because these wines are served young. Maybe it is because the whites are very slightly green in color. These wines are loved for their crisp, green-apple tartness, the slight effervescence, and their low alcohol content. It is said that William Buckley featured these wines when sailing on Long Island Sound and loved them because they were in keeping with his unwritten rule of wines while sailing: “Nothing over $10 a bottle.” Vinho Verde remains one of the very last undiscovered values and at this price, you can be a hero by bringing a case to the next summer function.

Casal Garcia - Vinho Verde NV ($7.99)


Vouvray is a summer favorite for good reason. Produced along the Loire River in the Touraine district of France using only Chenin Blanc, Vouvray runs the gamut. The region is cooler than most of the wine regions in France and was the summer retreat for the French royalty and aristocracy for centuries, so there is a long and storied history, but the varietal is relatively new to the American market. After a week long trip through the Cote de Nuits, buying exceptional wines, some friends had a tasting at an apartment in Paris and the hands down favorite was a bottle that had not been purchased during the trip at all. It was a late harvest Vouvray someone had picked up on the way over! Paired with goat cheese, the young, acidic Vouvrays are amazing. Because of the acidity, some vintages will cellar very well, but many are produced with the intention of immediate consumption, and the prices can vary accordingly. For a summer drinker, expect to pay less than $15 a bottle!

Barton & Guestier - Vouvray NV ($12.99)

Read more
Sign up for our Newsletter
Sign Up