10 wines perfect for golden hour sipping
After the year we’ve had, we don’t need to explain the magical satisfaction of meeting up with your pals for a wine hang. Whether you’re in the park, on a patio or just having a laid-back snack session indoors, you’ll want to pick the right juice for the situation, and we’re here to help you do it. Here are some of the fun, golden hour-friendly bottles we’ve been cracking this summer, from Spanish field blend rosés and Greek skin contacts to California boxed wine.
A blend of indigenous grape varieties grown on the northern coast of Spain, this rosé is an eternal summer banger. Impress your friends by explaining that it’s a txakoli, meaning that it’s a mildly sparkling, drier rosé from the Basque region, with good salinity and calm citrus notes.
$24. Chateau Maplewood, 7326 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.899.0105, chateaumaplewood.com
Col di Luna ‘Flora’ Prosecco
This dry, citrus-y prosecco from Cappella Maggiore in northeastern Italy offers a sharp sip that cuts through spicy and fatty foods perfectly. Great with pizza, solo or in a spritz, this beautiful sparkling is super versatile.
$16. 33 Wine Shop & Bar, 1913 Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.231.9463, 33wine.com
Folk Machine B.Y.O.B. Boxed Red Wine
Move over, Franzia and Bota – there’s a new go-to boxed wine in town. Hailing from California, this stainless steel- and oak barrel-aged red by Hobo Wine Co. subsidiary Folk Machine features carignan, petite syrah, tempranillo and zinfandel grapes. It tastes good and comes in a big three-liter box – what else do you need to know?
$36. Pastaria Deli & Wine, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, pastariadeliwine.com
Subject to Change Big Sun Energy Grenache
This 00 (natural) grenache from California’s Subject to Change Wine Co. indeed brings big energy. A bit dry and very structural with notes of dark berry, pepper and orange zest, this is your grounding juice for the summer, guaranteed to keep you in the moment so you can focus on soaking up the sun.
$28. Pastaria Deli & Wine, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, pastariadeliwine.com
Domaine Glinavos Paleokerisio
Cracking a crisp skin contact wine while enjoying a few salty snacks? One of the best things in the world. This semi-sparkling from Greek producer Dom. Glinavos uses debina and bekari grapes and will whisk you away to the Ionian Sea.
$23. Parker’s Table, 7118 Oakland Ave., Richmond Heights, 314.645.2050, parkerstable.com
Lieu Dit Sauvignon Blanc
This sauvignon blanc was made for outdoor sipping. Grown in sunny Santa Barbara, California, these grapes receive both tank and barrel fermentation; they’re mineral-forward but also light and grassy, so you should be pairing this one with green salads, tomato dishes, lighter pizzas or your friend’s dope cheese plate. But do what feels right – it’s summer, baby!
$21. Chateau Maplewood, 7326 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.899.0105, chateaumaplewood.com
La Clarine Farms Albariño
These grapes get seven-months of skin contact, creating a beautifully hued wine that’s structural and acidic, full of tangerine, orange and other deep-seated citrus notes. This one’s got a lot of bite, so pick something equally punchy to eat with it; we drank it with dill pickle-flavored potato chips, so we can confirm that anything goes.
$28. Little Fox, 2800 Shenandoah Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9456, littlefoxstl.com
Domaine AMI Bourgogne Aligoté
Featuring a powerful blend of gamay, pinot noir and aligoté grapes, this dazzling wine from Burgundy takes up techniques more often associated with southern neighbors in Beaujolais; here, carbonically macerated grapes ferment in stainless steel, the result of which is a buoyant-but-dark juice full of red fruit flavor that will stay in your mind long after the bottle’s empty.
$27. Little Fox, 2800 Shenandoah Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9456, littlefoxstl.com
Les Alliés Pet-Nat Rosé
This light, juicy French pet-nat rosé’s gorgeous color is enough to reel you in, and its peachy-melon vibes will keep you refilling your glass. At this price point, you can stash a few bottles in the fridge or in your cellar for when they call to you.
$11. Grapevine Wines, 309 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.909.7044, grapevinewinesandspirits.com
At all times, you should have a dependable, affordable, crowd-pleasing white wine in your back pocket for when the sun peeks out and the homies must assemble quickly. This wine sees garganega and chardonnay grapes from a few different Italian municipalities, which all blend for chill notes of white flowers, apple and orange and a mild acidity.
$16. Pastaria Deli & Wine, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.773.7755, pastariadeliwine.com
Wine Zone Playlist
by Adam Rothbarth
You’ve got the wine, you’ve got your friends, the snacks are laid out, the golden hour is upon you. Did you forget anything? No, because you’ve smartly queued up the following playlist! Enjoy!
Bonnie Raitt: “Nick of Time”
Bruce Springsteen: “Sad Eyes (Studio Outtake - 1990)”
Michael McDonald: “Matters of the Heart”
Cassandra Jenkins: “Hard Drive”
Neil Young: “Razor Love”
Sarah McLachlan: “Building a Mystery”
Japanese Breakfast: “Essentially”
Bartees Strange: “Mr. November”
Bruce Hornsby & The Range: “The Road Not Taken”
Destroyer: “Sky’s Grey”
Lucinda Williams: “2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten”
The Smiths: “Reel Around the Fountain”
Tom Waits: “Downtown Train”
Rodolphe Burger: “The Passenger”
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