At June's annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the sampling options are truly overwhelming. We did the heavy sipping for you. Here, four wine picks for summer, as well as a few bonus cocktails to quench your thirst.
2005 Fratelli Lunelli Ferrari “Guilio Ferrari” Riserva del Fondatore, $140
Mark Oldman, in his Wines for Gazillionaires seminar (yes, that's really the name!), called this sparkling wine the Italian equivalent of Dom Perignon.
Tasting notes: “A cashmere caress,” says Goldman of this vintage; he calls its smooth character “a hallmark of great bubbly.”
2017 Villa Maria Single Vineyard “Taylor’s Pass” Sauvignon Blanc, $25
This wine was tasted in Anthony Giglio’s seminar, “Will the Real Sauvignon Blanc Please Stand Up?”—because why should Chardonnay get all the attention?
Tasting notes: It has an aroma of passionfruit and mango.Said a woman sitting next to us, “It smells like romance."
2016 Franzen Riesling Kabinett, Bremmer Calmont, $20–$24
Paul Grieco, who led the seminar “Reasons to Love Riesling,” is no less than an evangelist for the wine, which he calls the white wine equivalent of pinot noir. He’s determined to dispel the idea that all Riesling is sweet ("the dreaded “s” word," as he puts it).
Tasting notes: This pour was complex, with a well-rounded finish, and definitely not too sweet.
2009 Rotari “Flavio” Spumante Trento Talento, $60
Noted Leslie Sbrocco, who paired this wine with two different kinds of truffles from Delysia Chocolatier in her seminar “A Match Made in Heaven: Chocolate and Wine,” this Spumante is made from a chardonnay grape.
Tasting notes: “The tiny bubbles are like a Jacuzzi in your mouth,” said one winemaker during the seminar; it's also pleasingly dry.
Beyond the Vine
Stem Ciders A Salted Cucumber Apple Cider, $10 for four
This special release from the Lafayette, Colorado-based hard cider maker sounds weird, but went down smoothly when we sampled it at the Grand Tasting. It includes fresh cucumber juice from artisan pickle maker The Real Dill and sea salt.
Tasting notes: This cider was dry and refreshing, and not overly tart, making it a perfect summer quaff.
Cold Fashioned from Kelvin Slush Organics
The frozen wine trend is refreshing, and, if distilled spirits are more to your liking, you are now in luck thanks to organic cocktail mixes designed specifically for frozen cocktails. The Cold Fashioned was a rejuvenating treat from the heat, and it instantly enlivened our taste buds. Find out more, including recipes and how to order, at kelvinslush.com.
Tasting notes: If you can imagine the best cola slushee you've ever had and add in a tasty whiskey, hint of bitters, and citrus splash, this is it.
While you can make this Peruvian drink at home, we recommend ordering one from your favorite mixologist. Made from the South American spirit pisco, lime juice, simple syrup, and egg white, it's a truly reviving cocktail on a hot summer afternoos.
Tasting notes: The pisco sour served at the Peru booth during the Grand Tasting was both light and creamy, with notes of refreshingly delicious citrus.