Summer Wines for the Dog Days of August

Patio season is in full swing, and we still have several weeks of fine summery weather to enjoy life outdoors. It’s so easy at this mellow time of year to get together with friends for a casual meal al fresco, and there are endless wine choices to pair with your favourite barbeque fare.

Farmers’ markets are brimming with fresh vegetables like corn on the cob and tomatoes, making it easy to plan a meal that is both uncomplicated and delicious. LCBO Vintages is currently featuring wines from Greece, so I have included a couple of recommendations for when you’re in the mood to try something new. I even added pronunciation tips for how to pronounce their names, too!

Slopes of Algialeia, Peloponnese, Greece

A truly lovely discovery! This dry white wine has aromas of orange blossoms and melon, then the palate opens up with lemon zest and a saline minerality, finishing with crisp herbal nuances. Enjoy it with seafood.  Perfect on those sizzling hot days.

Extra Dry • 12.5% • LCBO Vintages# 33207 • $24.95

ALPHA ESTATE XINOMAVRO (Ksee-NO-mah-vro) 2020 Single Vineyard Hedgehog
Amyndeon, Greece

This was an instant hit!  It’s medium-bodied and dry, with a delightful aroma of strawberry jam. The palate continues the strawberry jam flavour and adds a hit of rosemary and pepper. I will definitely try other Xinomavros.  A vegan-certified wine.  Enjoy this with lamb kebabs or pizza.

Dry 14% • LCBO Vintages # 259762 •  $21.75Currently $5.20 off the regular price, so grab it soon!

Salento, Puglia, Italy

A full-bodied and flavourful red wine from Salento, in Puglia, known as the heel of southern Italy’s “boot.”  It has aromas and flavours of ripe dark berries, plums, tobacco leaf, cocoa and fennel. The grapes are grown on hills just 10 minutes from the Mediterranean, whose gentle night breezes ensure an excellent acidity in the wines from that region. Pair it with Prosciutto and hard cheeses like parmesan or spicy sausages.

Dry 14% •  LCBO Vintages# 270306 • $16.95

VQA Ontario

Sometimes an uncomplicated red wine is all you need to go with the burgers. This Cabernet-Shiraz blend will do the trick!  It has juicy red berry flavours, with enough spice from the Shiraz to kick it up a notch: a real crowd-pleaser and great value.

Dry 13% • LCBO# 219030 • $14.95

Vinho Verde D.O.C., Portugal

A great choice on a sizzling hot day.  This refreshing dry white wine has a lively, spritzy palate that offers tropical fruit, white florals, herbal and lemony notes.  It would be an excellent pairing with a shrimp salad, white fish or chicken salad sandwich.

Dry 12% • LCBO# 471284 • $14.95


Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an Aperol Spritz, Italy’s iconic cocktail. It has delicious aromas and flavours of tangerine and aromatic herbs. It’s super easy to make an Aperol Spritz; all you need is a bottle of your favourite Prosecco, a bottle of Aperol and some soda water. How easy?

In a wine glass full of ice, pour equal parts Prosecco and Aperol, then add a splash of soda water. Garnish with a slice of orange, and presto! You’ve got a delightful cocktail. Pair with friends on a summer evening.

11% • LCBO# 176834 •  $32.85

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