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Three new varietals for this summer: Rose, Gewurztraminer and Albarino

In Naples, Florida, it is full-fledged summer meaning 100+ heat indexes, high humidity, and torrential down pours. But summer also means something more than just the heat and humidity – crisp, clean, and cold summer wines! But when you reach for your traditional sauvignon blanc this August, stop and think about trying one of these upcoming varietals that provide the same relief from the heat with some intense flavor profiles.
 
Also known as Alvarinho, Albariño, is a white wine grape grown in the Vinho Verde of Portugal as well as Galicia region of Spain. Albariño tends to have an acidic taste with flavors of apples, peaches, and citrus fruit but can also produce a rich, creamier wine reminiscent of almonds. Because of the thick skin on this grape, an Albariño crop is usually low yielding but of high quality creating some of the best but more expensive white Spanish and Portugal wines. However, some high qualities, low price entry Albariños are available from the Galicia region.
 
Try: Burgans Albariño 2007 ($14.99), Bodegas Martin Codax Albariño 2007 ($11.99)
Pair with: Seafood
 
Originated in Italy, the Gewürztraminer grape is now planted all over the world including Alsace (France), Italy, California, Washington, Oregon, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and even Hungary, Romania, and the Ukraine. These highly fragrant wines come in dry, medium-sweet, and late harvest varieties with the late harvest type being more of a desert wine. For the best values and flavors go for a dry Gewürztraminer from Alsace or Oregon.
 
Try: Hogue Gewürztraminer 2008 ($7.99), Alsace Willm Gewürztraminer 2008 ($12.99)
Pair with: Spicy food
 
Not your grandmother’s white zinfandel, rosé wines offer a punch of red aromas and flavors with the body and refreshment of a white wine. Rosé wines are made from red grapes including Syrah, Malbec, Pinot Noir, and even Cabernet Sauvignon. Depending on your tastes you may like one grape over another but always make sure the bottle is marked as a ‘dry rosé’ to avoid an overly sweet fruit bomb. They may be hard to find, but are definitely worth the search and effort (and are price friendly!)
 
Try: Charles & Charles Rosé of Syrah 2008 ($12.99 – buy a case!), Domaine Huchart Cotes de Provence Rosé 2008 ($8.99)
Pair with:  BBQ Chicken

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