The gloriously hot days of summer here in Canada tend to slip away so quickly, and with only a good dozen or so summer week-ends, you really do have to make the most of each and every sunny afternoon and warm, breezy evening. We at Groovy Grapes think that the best way to do this is to keep your summer entertaining simple. Here are a few tips to get you started, plus a couple of must-try summer wines.
1. Shop local and fresh. If youâ€™re lucky enough to live in a place with a farmerâ€™s market, use it! Sure, it might take a few extra minutes instead of buying all your produce at the supermarket, but itâ€™s worth it to serve your guests local, fresh, and seasonal dishes.
2. Grill it. Grilling has to be THE easiest way to cook, plus you wonâ€™t heat up your kitchen, youâ€™ll have less dishes, and we think itâ€™s the best way to let your foodâ€™s flavours speak for themselves. If you are interested in a short video clip we put together about bbq and wine and food matching have a look at our video library and select the second clip.
3. Dine al fresco. Buy tons of citronella candles or torches to keep the bugs away, then set up your table outside to enjoy the fresh air. Thereâ€™s nothing more seasonally celebratory than a simple outdoor party.
4. Drink bubbly. Since weâ€™re sticking with the theme of celebrating, sparkling wine is the perfect drink for your summer parties. It works equally well in the morning, afternoon, or evening, itâ€™s super food-friendly, and it makes a simple yet elegant cocktail when mixed with a bit of purÃ©ed fresh fruit like berries or peaches.
Must-try Summer Sipping
Just as with food, we like to support local wine producers, especially during the summer months. Try these Canadian wines at your next summer party â€“ you wonâ€™t be disappointed!
Reif Estate Vidal (Niagara Peninsula)
LCBO 111781 | 750 ml | $8.35
With just a hint of sweetness, this light and simple wine is the perfect poolside sipper. Fruity aromas and flavours of peach and pear, plus a price that canâ€™t be beat.
Henry of Pelham CuvÃ©e Catharine RosÃ© Brut (Niagara Peninsula)
VINTAGES 616458 | 750 ml | $29.95
See tip #4 above â€“ drink bubbly! This one has a light pink colour, medium body, and fine, refreshing bubbles. Try it as an apÃ©ritif, or with oysters, caviar, or grilled seafood.
ChÃ¢teau des Charmes RosÃ© CuvÃ©e dâ€™AndrÃ©e (Niagara Peninsula)
LCBO 333260 | 750 ml | $12.95
A crisp, dry and refreshing rosÃ©, full of fruity and spicy flavours. If rosÃ© makes you think sweet and syrupy, think again! So food friendly, youâ€™ll want to try it with everything!
Mission Hill â€œFive Vineyardsâ€ Pinot Noir (Okanagan Valley)
LCBO 118844 | 750 ml | $13.95
A medium-bodied red that can be chilled down a bit for more refreshment. Pinot Noir is a popular style, and this one is quite fruity with a hint of earthiness. A great partner for grilled salmon, trout, tuna, or pork tenderloin.
Rossignol Cranberry Delight (Prince Edward Island)
VINTAGES 535419 | 750 ml | $15.95
A unique fruit wine from P.E.I. thatâ€™s an ideal ending to an outdoor meal. Sweet and fresh with flavours of cranberry and strawberry.
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