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5 Refreshing Wines to Try Before Summer’s End

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

By Alice Feiring

Journalist, essayist, and wine expert Alice Feiring is here to offer up some crisp and highly coveted selections to help you cool off during the dog days of summer. For more about Alice, her life, and love of wine, be sure to check our her memoir, To Fall in Love, Drink This, available now.

Andi Weigand

2020 MTH

Franken, Germany

Franken, Germany, was once famous for its weirdly shaped bottles and sharp wines that had plenty of ageability. But for a long while, their wine industry fell out of favor. Now, thanks to an influx of new talent farming organically, the region is bouncing back. Andi took over his dad’s estate in 2015, transforming this humble grape Müller-Thurgau—a fairly neutral-smelling wine—into a veritable bouquet in a bottle. This is a crisp, hot-weather refresher, full of lemon and life.

Vinca Minor

2021 Carignan Rosé

California, USA

It’s rosé season and this bottle from California winemaker Jason Charles should definitely be on your radar. The grape is old carignan and it’s grown in cool Mendocino, California. The vinification happens in Berkeley, in a combo of old French oak and gleaming stainless steel barrels for five months before bottling. In my opinion, carignan is the grape of California because it ripens but stays low in alcohol. This one is on the muscular, powerful side. Expect some licorice accents, too. It’s luscious, food worthy and, I know, you can’t drink color, but the cranberry-ish hue is gorgeous. You’ll want to pull this out when the kids are at a sleepover and you’re making the most of the freedom.

La Zafra

2019 Nu Rosado

Alicante, Spain

Spain’s hot Alicante region is not known for great wine for good reason. Excessive heat makes for flabby wines—if you don’t take a lot of care and farm well. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Case in point, La Zafra. Since 2016, they are bottling sincere wines worthy of your attention. In fact, this rosado from the monastrell grape (otherwise known as mourvdère or mataro) is delicious. The beautiful copper and cherry color comes from one day of skin contact before it hops into stainless steel barrels to finish fermentation. The result is unfiltered with plenty of strawberry zing. This is a great bottle to pull out when you’d like to impress someone with your deep wine knowledge.

Cinque Campi

2019 Particella 128

Emilia Romagna, Italy

I’m a huge fan of fizzy wines from Emilia Romagna, the part of Italy that is home to Lambrusco. Vignaoli Vanni Nizzoli Cinque Campi makes gorgeous sparkling reds, but his champagne-style wine, Particella, is on another level with verve and class. The base wine sits on the skins for three days which gives it aromatic richness. Then the wine spends six months in concrete and stainless-steel vats. To get the fizz, he adds some chilled grape must from the same parcel and vintage, capping it off as the yeast eats the sugar and makes bubbles. No added anything in this wine—super dry, soft, and angular, with a touch of Bosc pear. Show this one off to your book club with some potato chips and a hunk of salty parmesan, and let the analysis and gossip commence.

La Garagista

Harlots & Ruffians

Vermont, USA

I know you’re shocked, but there is delicious wine from the Green Mountain State. La Garagista’s Deidre Heekin is a pioneer who showed the world her wines could make it to three-star Michelin lists. Harlots and Ruffians is a white wine field blend from their open-meadow vineyard, replete with Queen Anne’s Lace and red clover. The frontenac gris and la crescent grapes are grown on the banks of Lake Champlain, and the finished product drinks completely dry but highly aromatic. This wine is the taste equivalent of a field bursting with honeybees and purple clover. Delicious, plump, juicy, and worth savoring with a cheery joy.


Alice Feiring was proclaimed “the queen of natural wines” by the Financial Times. Feiring is a recipient of a coveted James Beard Award for wine journalism, among many other awards. She has written for newspapers and magazines including The New York Times, New York magazine, Time, AFAR, World of Fine Wine, and the beloved winezine, Noble Rot. She has also appeared frequently on public radio. Her previous books include Natural Wine for the People, Dirty Guide to Wine, For the Love of Wine, Naked Wine: Letting Grapes Do What Comes Naturally, and her controversial 2008 debut, The Battle for Wine & Love or How I Saved the World from Parkerization. Her memoir, To Fall in Love, Drink This, will be published by Scribner on August 9, 2022.