We asked TJ Douglas of The Urban Grape in Boston to give us his favorite summer wines of 2020, a season when we could all use a drink. They are listed below from lightest body, to richest, using the Progressive Shelving method that UG created to help you discover new wines you’ll love — even if you don’t know the difference between Bordeaux and Beaujoulais.
Click here to check out our full article about The Urban Grape and their Wine Award for Students of Color.
TJ's Top Summer Wines of 2020
Photos courtesy of The Urban Grape
“On our progressive scale, this is a 1. It’s light and it’s the perfect pairing for oysters or any salty shellfish with the brininess on it. Drink it ice cold, throw in a couple ice cubes if you want. It’s super easy.”
A great Sancerre from the sub Appalachian of Chavignol. Sancerre is a large Appalachian, but Chavignol is one of the Cru areas. It’s a richer style Sancerre and a wine you can definitely think about…if you want to.”
“La Spinetta has been our number one selling rose for years.It’s made in that Provencal style, but it’s Sangiovese from Tuscany and it’s just absolutely beautiful.”
“Our new favorite rose right now is from a Black-owned company called La Fete du Rose, and it’s coming from Saint-Tropez and Cotes de Provence. It’s that richer, creamier, Chateau Peyrassol domaine style of rose. It’s a premier style, super tasty.”
“This Pinot Noir is grown a couple of miles from the ocean at this winery that I went to in Chile a few years ago. The Climate is like California’s Bay Area. You have this salty Pinot Noir, and I’m just thinking of being outside: light, bright, barbecue. If you want to have this in your cooler, take it out and drink it almost chilled, like a Beaujolais. It works because it’s extremely lightly oaked. Think neutral oak.”
“For more of that bigger, richer, style, I chose another South American wine with a Syrah, Carignan, and Grenache blend from Chile. It’s just big and bold; I think we have it as a nine on our scale, but it’s big and yummy and juicy. For burgers, ribs, and grilled meats. It’s going to be perfect. It’s going to satisfy the big, juicy, jammy Cabernet drinker with just with a little bit less tannin.
“Hey TJ! What’s the fastest way to chill a bottle of wine?!”
1. Wrap a cold wet cloth around the bottle, take the cork out, and put it in your fridge or freezer.
2. If you have a glass decanter or even a larger Tupperware, or lemonade pitcher, dump your wine in and just throw it in the fridge or the freezer.