They should be inside the bottle. We enjoyed some delicious and fragrantly floriferous whites during the weekend of Garden Walk and it made me think of other wines I love during summer. There is plenty of warm weather left for most of us, and I¹m suspecting the serious garden work has subsided a bit (unless you’re one of the ones pulling out all your grass), so there’s more time to sit and enjoy. OK, maybe a weed gets yanked here and there, but this is mainly about sitting and drinking, with others—or alone (no harm in that).
Can you smell flowers in a glass of white wine? You sure can, and I¹m not talking about nutty Robert Parkeresque “nose of sweaty saddles and pencil shavings” stuff. But if you¹re drinking a wine from southern Italy and you swear you smell jasmine, that makes sense, because jasmine grows wild all over such areas as the Amalfi coast. Such was the case with a Falanghina I just drank the last bottle of (damn!). It is perfect for garden consumption: refreshing yet with that hint of flowers and a little bit of body so you don¹t gulp it down. But if you do find this, make sure it is no more than a year or two old.
The same goes with one of my all-time favorite summer drinks, Muscadet. It must be fresh. This white from the Loire is super-crisp, with a citrusy nose and taste. To me this is so much better than pinot grigio (which has similar properties). A better Italian choice, if you want that fresh mineral-y quality is Greco di Tufa, also from southern Italy. (I understand bottom-line concerns, but I will never, ever buy any of these wines this summer unless they are 2005-6. No one should. Take them off the shelves, please.)
If the wines are fresh, I don¹t think you need concern yourself too much with the maker. You won’t be able to, as in most liquor stores you’d be lucky to find one example. Having said that, Feudi de San Gregorio is a great source for both Greco di Tufa and Falanghina. Here’s some trivia: Falanghina is one of the wines made by the ancient Romans; it’s what the inhabitants of Pompeii might have been swigging just before they got clobbered.
The one red I’ll readily go for on a summer’s day is Beaujolais—and there should be plenty of violet aromas with a good one. The cru Beaujolais (Fleurie, Brouilly, Morgon) are great, very quickly and lightly chilled—say, 2 minutes in the freezer? This isn’t the sodapop nouveau stuff; this is delicate, nuanced red wine, but not in any way too heavy for summer.
I meant to get to dry rosés—oh well, next time!