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Ready to enjoy warm-weather wines? Wine expert Lesie Sbrocco has the perfect wine picks to keep you sipping in style all spring and summer long. These affordable yet exotic vinos will take you on a virtual vacation around the globe.
Hot Trends: Bubbly and Whites
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Domaine Bousquet, sparkling Rosé Brut, Mendoza, Argentina, $13, Domaine Bousquet
No better way to pop into summer than with the pop of a bottle of bubbly. When the Southern French winemaking family, the Bousquets, moved to Argentina in 1990 they planted vineyards dedicated to organic farming. This deliciously crisp, lightly pink sparkling wine is made with organically-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from high in the Andes mountains. It's an elegant sparkler sporting a price tag to allow for everyday drinking.
2017 The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc, Awatere Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand, $15, The Crossings
Most people who crave zesty, herbal- and citrus-scented Sauvignon Blanc, are familiar with those from the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island. What few know, however, is that Marlborough actually has a number of sub-regions. One that's gaining attention for its high-acid, cool-climate wine style is the Awatere Valley. Remote and rugged with pristine rivers, the Awatere is a place that's producing Sauvignon Blanc with laser-like focus. This version from The Crossings is light, sassy and refreshing. It's ideal to kick off warm-weather days pairing as easily with BBQ shrimp as with Chinese stir fry or spicy fish tacos.
2017 Los Bermejos Malvasía Volcanica 'Seco', Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain, $24, Los Bermejos
This wonderfully exotic bottle is perfect for the adventurous wine lover in your life. Hailing from the Spanish Canary Islands, it's a white to discover. I recently returned from a trip to the Canaries and wines from the volcanic island of Lanzarote are fascinating. Vines are planted in large holes in black volcanic soil as the island is still covered in ash from eruptions dating to the 1700s. The island's signature white grape, Malvasía Volcanica, is one that captures the aromatic quality of Malvasia. Layering on fleshy, ripe-fruit juiciness wrapped with a lip-smacking finish, it's a dry wine of complexity.
Cool it Down: Chillable Pinks and Reds
2017 Mezzacorona Rosé, Dolomiti, Italy, $11, Mezzacorona
Fire up the grill! Getting ready for summer would not be complete without stocking up on this high quality, affordable rosé. The beautifully hued garnet wine is made from native northern Italian red grapes called Lagrein (lag-rhine) grown in the shadow of the Dolomite mountains. Strawberry aromas and peppery, savory flavors make it the perfect choice with just about anything off the grill. It's simply a pink that's fun to drink.
2017 Carpineto 'Dogajolo' Rosato, Toscano IGT, Italy, $15, Carpineto
With a pretty-in-pink label and just as appealing rosy wine in bottle, the Dogajolo Rosato is the whole package. Made with Sangiovese, the famed red grape of Tuscany, this wine is a creation of the highly regarded Tuscan producer, Carpineto. The name refers to the barrel staves used to age wine. This Rosato, however, was only made in stainless steel tanks to preserve its freshness and succulent fruit flavors.
2014 Vivanco Crianza, Rioja, Spain, $14, Vivanco
If you don't know the wines of Vivanco, prepare to be impressed. They are not only eye-catching but also mouthwatering. This young, fresh red made with Rioja's signature grape, Tempranillo, is juicy and spicy. Hearty enough to drink on still-cool nights, it can also be chilled to pair with balmy, warm-weather evenings. And, if you find yourself in the Spanish region of Rioja, a visit to Vivanco should be on your list. With a world-class wine museum, it takes wine, art and history to a new level.