What is more refreshing on a hot day than an ice cold beer or a cool, crisp glass of wine? I asked our beer & wine buyer Meghan Koontz to share her thoughts on great all-natural beers & wines to enjoy this summer. Here are some of her suggestions.
Wheat beers are popular summer beers because they are light and refreshing. The Pinkus Organic Hefe-Weizen is very light in body and color. It’s citrus and floral notes make it a great ally on a hot day.
Bell’s Oberon Ale is an American pale wheat ale carrying a slight sweetness and hints of lemon and orange. “Perfect for relaxing on the porch on a Summer’s day”, as one taster noted.
Sierra Nevada‘s newer wheat beer, Kellerweis, is arguably one of the best American-made Hefeweizens. Made in the traditional Bavarian style of open fermentation, it is smooth and spicy. And at $6.99 a six pack, you could certainly make it a Summer staple!
Lagers are another light Summer brew. The Sam Smith’s Organic Lager is a full-bodied lager with a slight hoppiness, which goes great with grilled foods.
For a spicier lager, try Coney Island Albino Python. This white lager brewed with spices, is lighter and more yeasty than most lagers, making it a great warm-weather beer.
Sierra Nevada also has a seasonal Summer Lager, appropriately named Summerfest. This crisp, straight-forward pilsner is also $6.99 a six pack everyday!
IPAs, PALE ALES & SPECIALTY BREWS
IPAs, pale ales, and some specialty brews have their place in the summer sun too. The local Bold City Mad Manatee IPA has floral hops and malty sweetness that make it very enjoyable and easy to drink.
If you want to kick up the hops, try Bell’s Two Hearted Ale.
Toss out any stigma you may have about canned beers, because they have moved into the craft beer arena. Oskar Blue’s Dale’s Pale Ale is proof that the can does it’s job to preserve the clean, crisp, hoppy flavors in this beer. Perfect for summer outings and bar-b-ques! (ON SALE JULY 7th – AUGUST 6th for $7.99/6pk, reg $9.29)
Bison Brewery’s summer seasonal, Organic Honey Basil Ale, is infused with organic honey, which adds to its aroma but doesn’t overwhelm you with sweetness. The fresh basil flavor lingers in the background adding a unique flavor.
There are tasty options for those on a gluten-free diet as well! The Bard’s Gold Original Sorghum Malt Beer, has a apple and pear aroma, with a lightly bitter finish.
The perfect wine paired with your favorite summer dish, makes you forget about those hot summer temperatures.
Badger Mountain’s Organic Riesling is fermented in stainless steel with no oak, giving it that crisp, clean flavor that promises to “delight the palate and the mind”! The aromas of bosc pears and lilacs, pair well with fresh fruit salads, or crunchy greens.
La Cantina Pizzolato’s Organically Grown Prosecco is a delicate sparkling wine. It pairs well with desserts, or for the perfect mimosa, try this prosecco and Volcano Blood Orange Juice! Yum! (ON SALE JULY 7th – AUGUST 6th for $8.99, reg $14.49)
The family that brings you Clif Bars, also has a hand in organically grown grapes. Their Clif The Climber White Wine, is a tasty blend of Sauvignon Blanc(88%), Muscat(4%), Riesling(3%), Chardonnay(3%), and Chenin Blanc(2%). Wine Spectator gave this blend 87 points. It hits your nose with aromas of grapefruit and melon – sounds like summer in a bottle!
The Agrinatura Estate in the Italian Province of Puglia, near the village of Andria, produces a delicious organic chardonnay. Agrinatura Organic Puglia Chardonnay has aromas of lemon curd and a good balance of slight oak and mouth-filling vanilla flavors. It pairs well with any roasted fish with herbs.
Terra Suma’s Premium Pinot Grigio grapes are organically grown in Northern Italy. The smooth, mild and fruity flavor pairs well with grilled salmon or white fish or cheeses and fruits.
For some unique grapes, perfect for the warmer weather, pick up the Santa Julia Organica Torrontes, or D.Pedro de Soutomaior Albarino. The Torrontes is organically grown and hand picked. It is fresh with aromas of white peaches, rose and orange peel. The Albarino is a medium to light-bodied white wine that is rich with peach and citrus fruits while the aromas tend to the floral and slightly nutty end of the spectrum. This wine has a bright acidity and an easy-drinking quality that has propelled it to new heights of popularity.
Don’t forget about reds in the summer months! The delicious organic Spanish sangria from Bodegas Iranzo named Nina Bonita Organic Sangria is a cool, fruity treat!
The Natura Organic Syrah pairs well with grilled meats and veggies, giving its red-fruit flavors as well as a touch of pepper and spice.
Girasole’s Organic Pinot Noir was rated at 90 points by Wine and Spirits, and listed as the editors choice for Wine Enthusiast with a rating of 87 points. It’s supported by a range of flavors, from red-raspberries and cherries, to Asian spices. It’s so versatile that it pairs well with many foods, including a juicy burger hot off the grill!