Photo courtesy of Pexels/Yelena Odintsov

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about the refreshing wines you’ll be drinking this season to help you stay cool. Whether you’re looking for a crisp white to pair with seafood or a chillable red to accompany your barbeque, the selection process can be a bit overwhelming.

To make things easier for you, we’ve put together a quick guide to some of our favorite summer white wines that will help you beat the heat and enjoy the season with friends and family.

As the classics are making their way back into households on heavy rotation, be on the lookout for these varietals and regions that have been deemed Atlanta’s Summer 2023 must-have whites:

Grüner Veltliner: Talk about a wine having its moment! We can’t seem to keep enough Grüner on the shelves. Grüner Veltliner is Austria’s most widely planted grape varietal. This crisp, tangy white wine is known for its distinct flavors of white pepper, lime, and stone fruit. It’s extremely approachable and food friendly. Fun fact: Austria is the land of the Wiener Schnitzel served with a vinegar based potato salad, always paired with a glass of Grüner Veltliner. Sounds like more people in Atlanta need to be pairing Grüner Veltliner with fried chicken and lemon pepper wings. 

Suggested Wine: 2021 Brunn Grüner Veltliner 1 Liter, Niederosterreich, Austria.

Sauvignon Blanc: French Sauvignon Blanc has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and this summer is no exception. Who doesn’t love a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, France’s go-to region for the grape varietal. While Sancerre has always been a hot commodity, the recent perception of increased popularity might have something to do with the increase in scarcity. Winemakers in Sancerre have had several challenging growing seasons resulting in the production of less Sauvignon Blanc. The less wine they make, the less we get in the United States, the more we want it. But have no fear; just next to Sancerre is a region called Touraine that also makes exceptional Sauvignon Blanc at a fraction of the cost. Touraine Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine to stock up on and have at the house for any summer occasion.

Suggested Wine: 2022 Vincent Roussely L’Escale Sauvignon Blanc, Touraine, Loire Valley, France.

Albariño: We hope deep down in our hearts that every summer, people will continue to obsess over Albariño the way we do. It’s our favorite wine to pair with fish, oysters, or that simple lemon caper pasta that blows your mind every time. Albariño is a dry white wine from the Iberian Peninsula, hence its natural affinity to seafood. Albariño has a beautiful texture, mouth watering acidity, with notes of lemon peel, melon, and salty sea spray. It’s the perfect white wine for any season, but particularly, the warm ones. Mark your calendars! Aug. 1is Albarano Day! 

Suggested Wine: 2022 Forjas de Salnes Leirana Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain.

Wines of Portugal: Much like Albariño from Rias Baixas (known as Alvarinho in Portugal), the wines of Portugal are also in high demand at the moment. When looking for a low ABV wine, Vinho Verde is always a great option with an average abv between 8%-11%. The region of Vinho Verde produces many serious still white wines, but is most commonly known for its effervescent cheerful, everyday drinking wines. The fizzy Vinho Verde is perfect for afternoon picnics or an aperitif. Both the branco (white) and the tinto (reds) from Portugal can be fresh and lively on the palate depending on the region and producer. 

Suggested Wines 2021 Luis Seabra ‘Xisto Ilimitado’ Branco, Douro, Portugal

Sarah Pierre owns 3 Parks Wine Shop in Atlanta and is a regular contributor to Atlanta Intown.

Katie Rice owns VinoTeca, a wine shop in Atlanta and is a regular contributor to Atlanta Intown.