Chill out

Four wines to keep on ice until the weather cools

Illustration by Mark Stivers

The calendar is inching toward autumn, but hot temperatures will linger in Sacramento until at least mid-October. So as long as it continues to feel like summer, we’ll continue to drink as if it’s summer.

That means white wines and rosés, lots of them. Red wine seems too cloying, most beers are too heavy and cocktails, with their complex array of ingredients, just feel like too much work.

If like me, however, you sometimes feel intimidated when it comes to selecting drinkable, affordable wines—don’t. Whites and rosés are among the easiest to navigate, particularly if you know what flavor profile you prefer. I like the driest of blends—crisp with minimal-to-no sweetness. Following are four picks that fit my basic criteria: Cheapish ($10 or less), dry and almost as refreshing as sparkling water.

Domaine de Pellehaut Harmonie de Gascogne Blanc

This wine, which hails from the Cotes de Gascogne region in southern France, is a blend of white grapes that exudes a dry, oh-so-slightly tangy taste. The maker describes it as “flinty,” but I’d say it’s just right for early evening sipping on those hot nights when the Delta breeze eludes us. Usually on sale for about $10 at various local grocers.

Kirkland Signature Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc

Have a Costco card? Pick up this sauvignon blanc for just $6.99. Seriously. New Zealand whites have been having a moment and this wine, named by Business Insider magazine as one of the discount store’s best options, exemplifies the trend. It’s got a clean, crisp taste ripe with lemongrass, grapefruit and apple notes. All that and the price is so good you won’t feel as bad about all the other impulse buys you throw into your cart. Hello, fancy $400 vacuum.

La Ferme Julien Rosé

Trader Joe’s, not surprisingly, stocks a decent selection of whites and rosés—most less than $10. One of my favorites is this super-affordable option. At only $5.99 a bottle, it’s as light as a summer morning breeze with a pleasing pale pink hue. Made from a blend of syrah, granache and cinsault grapes, it’s got a clean finish that makes it ideal for barbecues, pool parties or afternoons binge-watching Fleabag. Again.

2016 Dark Horse California Rosé Wine

Another choice for the non-wine snobs among us. This medium-bodied wine is very crisp but balanced, with notes of juicy fruits and a slight floral-forward finish. Pick up a bottle (or two) for $9.99 and pair it with the “Rosé All Day” tank top you can probably snag from Tar-jay’s yoga wear section.