Summer White Wine Recommendations

I write this article as the rain pounds outside my window. It certainly feels like winter and that I should be reaching for a hearty red wine. But summer days will surely come and you will want to be prepared for all the outdoor events that are celebrated at this time of the year like graduations, Father’s Day, and the big holiday weekends. Get out the picnic table, the BBQ grill, and the Paella burner and get cooking and entertaining. Here is a list of my favorite white wines at bargain prices. All the wines suggested should be easy to find in the San Francisco Bay Area and online at many retailers.

Albariño is my go-to wine for the warm summer days and evenings. Costco has a very good one, the Paco & Lola 2009 for $13.99. Or try the Seta Cepas 2009 at Burlingame’s famous Weimax Wines & Spirits for $13.99. These are wonderful wines. Grill some shrimp and pass the Albariño.

Pinot Grigio
One of the better deals around at the moment is Brassfield’s Pinot Grigio. This wine is from Lake County and is the top selling wine at Brassfield. This wine is delightful, with nice melon flavors and good acidity. The wine has a solid mouth feel and the flavors linger in the mouth. This one sells at BevMo for $9.99

Pinot Gris
This is the same grape as Pinot Grigio but is made in a different style. One of the most popular Pinot Gris wines in this neck of the woods is the King Estate Pinot Gris from Oregon. I find the 2009 vintage to be very similar to an Albariño wine. I found this one at Costco for $12.99 and the Wine Stop in Burlingame for $13.99. It is clean and enjoyable, with citrus characters of lemon and lime. It is very refreshing.

Riesling wines are always a good summer choice. We like the dry ones. My two favorites are Poet’s Leap from Washington for $16.99 at Costco or, if you happen to be in Hopland, CA, stop in at McFadden’s tasting room and try their Riesling from the Potter Valley. You can order it online. Awesome!

Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is probably the California standard for the great outdoors and picnicking. I think the best deal around is the Hanna 2009 at Costco for $10.99. The 2010 should be just around the corner and we hope it is the same price and quality. This wine sells on the Hanna Website for $19.

Sparkling Wine
Sparkling wine is fun no matter what the occasion and bubbly always goes with sunshine and a variety of foods. It is a “can’t miss” wine for entertaining and celebrating. Best deal around is the Spanish Cava, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva for $9 at Cost Plus stores.

Next week, we will mention some Rosé wines for the summer months.


  1. I just came back from the Safeway in Morgan Hill. They are having a huge wine sale. The Brassfield Pinot Grigio is on sale. If you purchase six, it comes to $8.50 a bottle. The also have the Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc/ Viognier on sale that I like for $10.49 for one bottle and if you buy six, the bottle price comes to $9.45. That is way better than Bevmo’s sale price.

  2. The Chronicle and Wine Enthusiast just came out with their summer white wine recommendations. What is great about your blog is that I can find the wines you recommend. I am going to try the Brassfield.

  3. Joe,

    Thanks for the kind words about our Riesling. I may be biased, but when Montelena, Beaulieu, and Dashe line up to buy your grapes for their Riesling, you know you have great grapes.

    Grown organically in McFadden Farm in potter Valley, our Riesling grapes are probably the country’s most varietally correct and make wines very much in the traditional Vin d’Alsace style.

    As long as you are writing about whites, let me say that our Chardonnay is stainless steel held and zero malolactic, we have great grapes and show off our fruit, unlike winemakers vhiding cheap fruit with multiple manipulations and tricks. Beautifully fruit driven with balancing crisp acidity, our Chardonnay is an incredible food wine.

    All of our whites pair better with food than the larger production wines sold in grocery stores, including our Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, and drier Gewurtztraminer, as well as our Chardonnay and Riesling.

    Come up to our tasting room at 13275 S Hwy 101, Ste 5, Hopland, CA 95449 in Mendocino County, or call me in the tasting room and we can put together a wine order to ship to you, (707) 744-8463.

    Thanks again for the kind words, and happy white wine summer days to all.

    John Cesano
    McFadden Vineyard
    Tasting Room and Wine Club manager

  4. Oh, I should say, all of our whites, except the Riesling, are $16 a bottle. The Riesling is $18. We discount cases 10%. Wine Club members receive 25% off a case, and get great shipping rates, $23 to the east coast vs nearly $60 for UPS if you took it in yourself as an example. Each of our wines also comes up as a Wine of the Month at least once each year, and wine club members get 35% discounts then. If you plan on visiting, we’ll hold your orders for pick up and skip the shipping altogether.



  5. Also biased, here at Chateau Montelena we love the fruit that comes from the McFadden Vineyard. We have a have a hard time keeping our Riesling in the tasting room and on our website very long before it sells out. It’s easy to say, the McFadden Vineyard is one of the best producing Riesling vineyards in California. Cheers!

    Nyk King
    Chateau Montelena Winery
    E-Commerce Specialist

    • I have had your Montelena Riesling in the past and it is very delicious. I can see why it goes quickly.

  6. Nyk King,

    You are so kind! I’ve tasted all our Riesling family before; recently I picked up a Dashe Riesling on DCV visit, and I intended to head over the mountain to pick up a Chateau Montelena Riesling – but will now make it a priority. I want to set up a horizontal tasting for my tasting room staff.

    It is amazing to me that the grapes remain identifiably McFadden Farm, and clearly the wines are related, but each one is a unique expression, winemaking choices pulling different latent flavors to the fore.

    Joe, thanks for providing a forum for Nyk and I to meet.




  1. […] flavors. Costco has a great deal on this wine at $12.99; normal price is $17. This wine is on our Summer White Wine […]

Speak Your Mind