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With the nation easing back into normalcy and summer upon us, many of us are eager to get together, clink glasses and enjoy a few drinks with our friends.
Leslie Sbrocco — an Emmy–winning wine expert and author, as well as the host of two PBS series — made a toast to some of her favorite summertime wines on Hoda & Jenna. As an in-demand speaker and virtual wine edu-tainer, she believes wine is meant to be drunk and enjoyed. So it’s no surprise that she says her motto is: “Life…Drink it up!”
Keep reading to enjoy some of her favorite drinks for this warm season, from ‘Picnic Picks’ to ‘Impress your Guests’ bottlings. She even shares her quick tips to savvy sipping.
"You don’t need to open a full bottle of bubbles to enjoy a weekend Mimosa," Sbrocco said. "Simply pop a single-serve size of Mionetto’s deliciously frothy fizz and top with orange juice. If you want to sip straight from the bottle, add a straw and toast. Cin Cin!"
TIP: Any glass with wine in it is a wine glass. You can use a variety of glassware for bubbly cocktails.
"Step up your picnic game with a pink sipper that transports you to the south of France and the stunning estate of Chateau de Berne in the heart of Provence," Sbrocco said. "A uniquely shaped bottle filled with dry, delicate rosé that pairs with chips and sandwiches or fruit and cheese platters."
Tip: Save attractive wine bottles to reuse as water bottles or for infused olive oils. Simply pour in the oil and add fresh sprigs of rosemary or thyme.
"Pinot Grigio is an enjoyable wine with quaffable freshness, but this succulent white is not only refreshing it’s complex," Sbrocco said. "From one of Italy’s famed names grown on steep hillsides in northern Italy, this appealing white is ideal to enjoy seaside and lakeside."
Tip: Make spritzers with wine ice cubes. Freeze wine in a cube tray, add them to a glass and top with tonic or soda water. Finish with a slice of lemon or lime.
"When ribs slathered in BBQ sauce or grilled salmon are hot off the grill, take a trip to Portugal for a dry red that’s both smooth and spicy," Sbrocco said. "It’s crafted with traditional red Portuguese varieties like Touriga Nacional and Touriga Franca. (P.S. this red does go with flavorful fish topped with chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs)."
Tip: You CAN pair red wine with fish. Think about the herbs, sauces and preparation when pairing wine and food.
Impress and indulge
"If you’re venturing out to kick off warm weather season with friends, bring this bottle to impress," Sbrocco said. "A classic Cabernet Sauvignon from an historic Sonoma producer, this is supple stunner. Dark berry fruit and bold flavors make an ideal partner for summertime steaks and burgers."
Tip: Red wine benefits from spending a few hours in a decanter or pitcher to release the aromas and smooth out the flavors.
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