Who doesn’t like flowers? Unless you’re severely allergic, it’s hard not to smile at a big beautiful bouquet. Whether you’re a man or a woman, the gesture remains a solid rite of passage along the road to courtship, and no matter how long you’ve been together, a bunch of roses will always mean something.
Speaking of roses, if you haven’t had a Moscato lately, crack one open and see what everyone is rapping about. The latest darling of hip-hop lyricists nationwide is most widely known as sweet, sparkling Moscato d’Asti, an Italian dessert wine with distinctive aromas of ripe roses, orange flowers and pale honey. Try it still and dry for something aromatic with a clean finish.
Fiano d’Avellino is one of my favorite floral white wines. A native Italy’s Campania region, not only does it exude a striking mineral quality-characteristic of the region, but it’s full of hay and wild flowers. If you like the way that sounds (tastes and smells), try more central Italian blends like Orvieto or Monastero Suore Cistercensi “Coenobium Rusticum” Bianco, Lazio, an orange wine. Orange wines are white wines that sit on the skins longer than usual, so they pick up more color, flavor and aroma than white wines made in the traditional manner. And can’t we all agree, when it comes to a good date, the more skin, the better?
Long Island wineries Paumanok, Palmer also do some bright fragrant whites. Try Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, respectively.
Picnic dates in the park and special occasion ceremonies are best accompanied by a good bubbly. Sparkling Kosher Cava, Adar, blends Spanish local varietals Perellada, Macabeo and Xaral·lo for a light, crisp and absolutely delightful rendition of Spain’s “Champagne.” Made in the champenoise method, with a second fermentation in the bottle, the bubbles are tight and long lasting. Aromas are characteristic of Cava, subtle fruit and flowers (freesia, lemon blossom), along with delicate toast aromas.
While you might not expect to be drinking red for the next few months, it’s good to have some on hand—if anything for a juicy steak dinner. Big beefy meat pairs well with sumptuous, juicy, and palate-skimming crisp and/or tannic reds. Bartenura Ovadia Estates Morellino di Scansano has the ripeness this southern Tuscan appellation is known for, along with pretty violet and cherry aromas and clean Sangiovese acidity.
Bright fizzy Lambrusco is another great red option for summer. It smells of ripe plums, concord grapes and violets and goes down like Coca-Cola on a sweltering afternoon, but without the cloying sweetness. Try it with salami or better yet, BBQ.