Warmer weather invites us to bask in the luxury of a slower rhythm to our lives. Whether you find yourself by the ocean or in the countryside, when it comes to wines that fit the occasion, light, bright, nuanced, and refreshing come immediately to mind. A recent drive along the beautiful back roads of the Merrimack Valley had me thinking of three creative and trusted retailers in Andover. Here, they take us on a global tour of what’s tantalizing their palates come this time of year.
Wine-Sense, 166 North Main Street, Andover, 978-749-9464
2020 Weingut Loersch Riesling Trocken Blauschiefer Mosel Germany $19
If you’re a riesling drinker, you’re in luck. If you’re not a riesling drinker, this wine will turn you into one. The family business of wine-growing dates back to the 1640s, so you can rest assured that the vineyard’s understanding of the terroir is solid. Elegant, vibrant, with a strong undertone of minerals.
2019 Castell d’Age Xarel-lo 0% SO2 Catalonia Spain $29
We normally encounter the Xarel-lo grape when we’re drinking cava, the Spanish sparkling wine, yet this wine is still. From three generations of women producers from Beguda Baixa, in the Alt Penedés region, it's a natural and honest wine made without sulfur. It’s pale of hue, slightly herbaceous, and stony, with aromas of tropical fruits.
2020 Manaresi Pignoletto Frizzante Emilia-Romagna Italy $23
This is a small-production wine made with pignoletto grapes, from a husband-and-wife team in Bologna practicing organic farming. The crowd-pleaser has delicate pear and white flower notes. A delicious alternative for fans of prosecco—a frizzante sure to be your new best friend.
Wine ConneXtion, 117 Main Street, North Andover , 978-965-8000
2020 Bodega Hiruzta Txakoli Basque Country Spain $16.99
Made with native varietal Hondarrabi Zuri, this is a lively and playful wine. With notes of tropical fruit and orange blossom, this wine has a slight spritz, with bubbles that occur naturally. It’s a wine that’s simply fun, and perfectly summer.
2020 Loimer Gruner Veltliner Lois Kamptal Austria $14.99
Hands down one of the most versatile white varietals, Gruner Veltliner is capable of harmonizing with sweet, savory, bitter, and briny cuisine. Dry, with bright notes of lemon, green apple, and a hint of white pepper, it has good structure and well-integrated acidity.
NV J.J. Vincent et Fils Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Burgundy France $19.99
Made entirely with chardonnay in the traditional Champagne method, this is a great-value sparkling wine from Burgundy, especially given the scarcity of true Champagne since the pandemic began. Crisp, fruity, floral, and yet dry, with a hint of citrus, this is a refreshing bubbly with a long finish.
Andover Classic Wines, 209 North Main Street, Andover, 978-470-0500
2020 Raza Vinho Verde Portugal $9.99
Super affordable, light, zesty, and low in alcohol, this wine named for the region it comes from, is a blend of indigenous varietals Arinto, Azal, and Trajadura. Absolute perfection for those hot summer days, complete with a slight spritz and a touch of salinity.
2020 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc Te Muna Marlborough New Zealand $26.99
The fruit-forward grapefruit characteristics synonymous with New Zealand sauvignon blanc are tempered here. While chock-full of grassy and citrus notes, this wine takes its cue from the sauvignon blancs of the Loire Valley in France.
2020 Ottella Trebbiano di Lugana Le Creete Veneto Italy $19.99
A great food wine from the gently rolling hills of Lugana. A style of Trebbiano at once crisp and expressive. Although dry, it has a touch of exotic fruit rendering it fleshy, yet even-toned with great acidity and a subtle minerality.