by Sarah Shotwell
Summer is here, and across the country, wine lovers are looking for the perfect wine to sip by the pool. But on a warm day, having a big glass of beefy west coast cab or zin (with alcohol content spiking into the high 15s) is a recipe for exhaustion. Keep cool this summer with these lower-alcohol European varietals!
Vinho Verde is a Portuguese varietal that saw a surge in popularity a few summers back. One of the lightest and spritziest of white wines available stateside, Vinho Verde is refreshing and delicious, with alcohols ranging from only 8-10%. It’s also a bargain, so if your yard is a gathering place for friends and neighbors, you can share the love without breaking the bank.
White Riesling is a light, highly acidic German wine served across a range of sweetnesses and alcohol levels. For poolside sipping, aim for a dry or off-dry bottle, and look for alcohols around the 11-12 percent range.
Pinot Grigio is a lighter styling of the French Pinot Gris and has been popular in North America since the early 90s. Look for an Italian bottle — alcohols range from 10-12%. With lush flavors and bright acid, Pinot Grigio is refreshing, palate cleansing, and satisfying.
Europeans have long known that bigger isn’t always better, and lighter, more delicate wines are perfect for afternoon quaffing. So pour yourself a second glass. Go ahead; we’re not looking.