Wines to Celebrate Summertime!

Summer’s here and we can finally enjoy all the fun the outdoor life offers. I’ve picked out a selection of wines that pair beautifully with a wide range of summery foods, from lighter fare like shrimp salads to barbeque favourites such as ribs. With Canada Day just around the corner, I’ve also included a couple of excellent Canadian wines to celebrate our local winemaking talent.

First off, I’ll start with a couple of impressive French wines from the Loire Valley that I recently tasted. You might want to sip on one of these as you watch the Tour de France or the Euro 2024 Soccer Championships! Loire vineyards, with their geologically rich variety of soils and subsoils, produce a wide range of different wines along their 800-km route.

The mild oceanic climate to the west, with influence from the Atlantic, combines with a semi-continental climate from Touraine eastwards to provide excellent conditions for growing vines. Two thousand seven hundred winegrowers in this region produce wine with a rich variety of colour and style. Here’s a little wine trivia for you: 37% of the wines produced are white wines, 29% are rosé, 18% are red, and 16% are sparkling wines.

Remy Pannier Rosé D’Anjou 2022
Loire Valley, France

Remy Pannier Rosé D’Anjou is a perennial favourite with a new label. This semi-dry style, made from Cab Franc grapes, illustrates why Rosé is so popular: the bright fruit flavours, the crisp acidity that makes it so versatile with food and of course, that beautiful salmon pink colour. Look for notes of cherry, strawberry, watermelon and citrus with a slight herbal aspect. It’s ultra-versatile with food. Enjoy it with paté, red peppers stuffed with goat cheese, or grilled fennel sausages.

Semi-Dry • 11% • LCBO# 12641 • $15.95

Trésors De Loire Touraine Sauvignon 2022
Touraine Sauvignon, Loire Valley, France

This refreshing white wine is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc. You will notice a different style than the New Zealand Sauv Blanc you may be familiar with. This Loire style is less grassy. The palate is delicate, fruity and very crisp, with lovely citrus and white floral notes on the nose. Perfect for all those summer salads!

Dry •  12.5% • LCBO# 31854 •  $17.80

Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2022
Niagara Peninsula VQA

Celebrate our local talent! This flavourful Chardonnay is crafted from Niagara grapes, fermented using indigenous yeasts from the vineyard and matured in barrels made from Ontario oak. Ripe and rich, this fruit-forward Chard has tree fruit and vanilla aromas. It shows lovely apple and pear with hints of maple on a creamy palate balanced by crisp acidity. Enjoy it with grilled scallops, roast poultry or cheddar cheese.

Dry • 13% • LCBO VINTAGES# 149302 • $24.96

Rosehall Run Pinot Noir 2021
Ontario VQA

Pinot Noir is just the ticket when you want a red wine for dinner but don’t want the bold, full-bodied type. Rosehall Run Pinot Noir is medium-bodied and easy-drinking. You’ll find notes of dark berries, herbs, toast and delicious mocha, too. A real crowd-pleaser! Pair it with lamb burgers, grilled salmon or mushroom risotto.

Extra Dry • 12.5% • LCBO# 307769 •  $21.95

Ruffino Chianti Classico Riserva Ducale 2021
Tuscany, Italy

Here’s a favourite Chianti Classico from Italy’s highly esteemed Ruffino winery. Lots of tart cherry, subtly interwoven baking spice, smoke and herbs with mouth-watering acidity. Always a hit! Serve with steaks on the barbeque, bison burgers, or a cheese platter that includes Pecorino and Parmigiano. Produced since 1927, when the Duke of Aosta chose Ruffino to be the wine supplier to the royal household.

Extra Dry • 14% • LCBO# 45195 • $28.95

For more wine and food discovery from Jane Staples, visit

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