Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Summer Wines

Published:Thursday | July 30, 2015 | 7:00 AMJason Clarke
Miss Jamaica World contestants Krystal Tomlinson (left) and Crystal Mason share a toast.
Miss Jamaica World contestant Sanetta Myrie is all smiles before enjoying Hamilton's Smoke house grilled bratwurst over organic salad with a balsamic dressing, paired with a glass of Beringer Pinot Grigio.
Gleaner wine columnist Jason Clarke with a bottle of Beringer Merlot.
Hamilton's Smoked sausage and papaya chutney wontons with a Beringer White Zinfandel.
Beringer Merlot with bangers and mash.
Beringer Pinot Grigio is simply perfect for a day by the beach.
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Sun, sand, and sea with this heat are the ideal makings of summer. What better way to enjoy the summer and all its festivities than with a little vino or in the company of the beautiful Miss Jamaica World contestants?

Summer is the perfect time for wines that are crisp, cold and refreshing. In thinking about summer wines and, more important, what wines to have and when, it might be best to examine when to best maximise the experience.

 

Pairing

 

At a recent food-and-wine pairing session for the Miss Jamaica World contestants, Chef Brian Lumley prepared a number of Hamilton's smoked dishes which really give the full measure of spice.

Particularly nice was the smoked sausage which was prepared with papaya chutney wontons and was paired with Beringer's White Zinfandel. The Zinfandel by itself is extremely friendly and was certainly one of the favourites of the contestants.

 

Barbecue

 

Meats sizzling on the grill and laughter in the air beg for a great wine. Red blends are the way to go, or very fruity reds. Robust fruit flavours and interesting profiles tend to complement just about anything you decide to throw on the grill. Primal Rose and Conundrum are two really awesome red blends that love our Jamaican spices. Talk about yummy by itself! Add food off the grill and you will start to feel your happy dance kicking in.

 

Beach

 

Imagine feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, hearing the roar of the waves and feeling the sand between your toes. Pinot Grigios in a space like this are simply perfect, especially when served extremely cold. They are typically light and refreshing and are the perfect complement to fresh fruit and citrus-type aromas and flavours. This is difficult to narrow to a simple number of options. They are yummy and appreciated at different price points. I think my go-to value-based option is the Beringer Pinot Grigio, which is simply perfect.

If your palate is a wee bit more developed and appreciates more nuances, then the Masianco Pinot Grigio is an exceptional option to consider. Beautiful aromas, great shape - medium bodied, this Pinot Grigio is simply superb, not to mention yummy with all its juiciness.

A Chenin Blanc is also a great white wine option to consider although not nearly as popular as a Pinot Grigio. Equally crisp with a lot more emphasis of tropical fruits. When paired with Hamilton's Jerk Sausage and ripe plantains, the combination of sweet, spice and the refreshing qualities of the wine were simply mind blowing.

 

Pool

 

Another great summer option which I am sure many may not have considered is a White Zinfandel. This pink, rose-coloured wine with aromas of strawberries makes this a perfect addition to the summer wine list.

This mildly sweet wine is not only refreshing, but sweet enough to tickle your palate, and is absolutely beautiful on a hot summer day. Women, in particular, absolutely enjoy Fetzer White Zinfandel, and due to its versatility, can be paired with most summer foods that will be present at most barbecues, not to mention lounging by the pool or on the beach.

Also a great option for sitting in front of the television and watching a football game. Other great White Zinfandels worth trying are from Sutter Home and Barefoot.

This summer, think of wines that are light and cold as the perfect complement to the heat. So try something new and enjoy the summer. Thanks to Hamilton's Smoke Meats and Chef Brian Lumley for a great summer wines experiment with the Miss Jamaica contestants.

- I am not an expert, merely a wine enthusiast sharing my thoughts and experiences. Feel free to share your own experiences at wineenthusiastja@gmail.com.