The Wines Of Summer

Actresses Kristin Chenoweth, left, and Julia Roberts share a laugh at a celebration of Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Camps, Monday, June 8, 2009, in New York. AP

Summer dining means lots of grilling and easy-to-make picnic meals. The bold flavors of summer can make it difficult to buy the right bottle of wine.

Andrea Immer comes to The Saturday Early Show with some great grill-friendly wines and with tips on how to buy a delicious wine without spending a lot of money.

She was recently named the dean of the wine studies at the French Culinary Institute, and her second book, "Andrea Immer's Wine Buying Guide For Everyone," was just published.

Immer is one of only 10 women in the world to earn the title of master sommelier. She has been teaching people about wine and food to thousands of consumers and trade professionals.

The flavors during the summer are those of grilled food and fresh produce -- bold and vibrant flavors. Says Immer, "When things like corn, tomatoes, and other veggies are at their summer peak, the tastes of freshness and ripeness really pop in your mouth. For those reasons, you need to find a wine that will be bold and stand up to these strong flavors."

Here are six of her suggestions:

  1. Cavit Pinot-Grigio (Suggested national retail price: $7.99): This is the ultimate picnic wine, according to Immer. It is very crisp and light, which is great for summer. It should be served chilled. And you can't over-chill this; the colder, the better. The flavors hold up better when it is colder.

  2. Penfolds Semillon Chardonnay (Approx. $6.99): This is a blend of semillion and chardonnay grapes. This is a leaner and crisper wine, which is great for summer. You want leaner flavors, because overall your summer dining is lighter, so you want to match that with a leaner wine.

  3. Dry Creek Fume Blanc ($10.99): This is a great wine because it goes with almost everything -- savory to tangy flavors. It has bold enough flavors to hold up to a red meat. It is so flavorful that it's like a condiment. Great flavors.

  4. Coppola Presents Rosso (Approx. $9.99): Yes, this is from Francis Ford Coppola's winery; his mission with his winery is to create wines that he remembers from the past. They are made in the tradition of old Italian wines which were simply a blend of different grapes; that is what this wine is like -- the wine is spicy and is full of flavor -- and just tastes great.

  5. Jaboulet Cotes du Rhone (Approx. $11.99): This is what she calls a French chameleon. It seems to go with so many different foods. It is a little spicy but has a nice soft berry taste.

  6. Black Opal Shiraz ($7.99): Immer loves shiraz. According to her, it is an outstanding signature red from Australia. She says that the grapes are so good that it is hard to find a bad shiraz; that you can get a great shiraz regardless of price. the style is in-between a merlot and a cabernet.
Immer teaches wine studies to both average consumers and to industry professionals. She lives in Connecticut with her family.

She loves getting feedback from people and she asks people to submit their own thoughts on wines they've had. You can easily do that by logging onto her Web site.
  • Ellen Crean

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