Here's What Our Executive Wine Editor Is Drinking This June

For better wine this summer, these three bottles should be at every gathering.

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Food & Wine

June is here, summer is here, and I don’t know about you, but for me that means saying hello to an ever-intensifying thirst (at least for the next three months) for wines that are truly refreshing.

It’s not just the heat of summer days; it’s the long, lingering light, the dream of being on a beach or a boat, and meals — ok, setting aside the occasional juice-dripping, melted-cheese-draped burger off the grill — that don’t weigh you down.

Related: 16 Chillable Red Wines for Summer Sipping

I want light, bright, zesty whites, and reds that will survive a light chill if need be. Albariños and Alvarinhos (the Spanish and Portuguese spellings of that grape, respectively); minerally, unoaked Chablis; and shimmering, light-bodied reds from the slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna. There are plenty of other possibilities, but this June that’s where my summertime wine fantasies were leading.

2022 Anselmo Mendès Contacto Alvarinho ($22)

On a recent trip to Portugal, I drank more than my share of this vivid, minerally white—what can I say, it was hot outside!—from one of the stars of Portugal’s Vinho Verde region. Mendès is one of the top talents in this part of Portugal, and this wine gets a touch of skin contact during the winemaking process (unusual for white wines), hence the name.

It’s far more complex than most of the traditional wines from the region, thrillingly aromatic and citrusy, and is a stellar companion to fish of any kind (particularly bacalhão, if you want to be truly Portuguese).

Related: 16 Best Wines to Buy Right Now for $20 or Less, According to Wine Pros

2022 Albert Bichot Domaine Long-Depaquit Chablis ($26)

As Burgundy prices spiral ever upward, I was pretty thrilled to find this basic village Chablis at such a moderate price. Bichot makes wines throughout the Burgundy region, but some of the firm’s best come from its 160-acre Château Long-Depaquit estate in Chablis.

And this has  everything you want in a classic village Chablis: a whiff of springtime flowers on the nose; vivid, bright acidity; crisp citrusy fruit; and a hint of   stoniness on the finish. Bring on the raw oysters. Or the steamed mussels. Or just stand in the ocean and drink a glass.

Related: Sicily’s Best Kept Secret Is This White Wine

2022 Girolamo Russo a’ Rina Etna Rosso ($29)

I finally had a chance to meet Giuseppe Russo at NYC’s Terroir wine bar after several years of loving his wines, and then writing about them in my book The World in a Wineglass. He’s charming, impressively talented, and definitely one of the new (or new-ish) names to follow if you are intrigued by the elegant transparency and complexity that Nerello Mascalese gets when it’s grown on Etna’s volcanic soils. His Etna Rosso is a perfect summertime red—fragrant with red berry fruit, light-bodied, and a total pleasure whether you serve it at standard red wine temperature or chilled down on a hot day.

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