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Summer Forecast? Rosé All Day!

Beautiful weather calls for leisurely meals al fresco and summer rosé in your glass.

summer rosé

Whether you’re heading to the beach, the pool or a picnic in wine country, simple food (and drinks) are the best. This month’s recipe combines two of our favorite summer treats — popsicles and rosé. It’s a refreshing blend of fresh peaches, orange juice and California rosé frozen into Popsicle form. It’s a playful (adults-only), thirst-quenching treat that everyone loves. Get the recipe below.

summer rosé in vineyard

What Type of Wine is Good for Summer?

There are no hard and fast rules as to what type of wine is good for summer sipping, though some people prefer chilled whites for obvious reasons. We think that summertime is the perfect opportunity to get playful both with food and wine. While we don’t recommend that anyone gets too rigid about it — after all, summertime is a time for relaxing — we do have a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. Acid goes with acid – Acidic food tends to mask acidity in wine, so when you’re enjoying acidic foods (think fresh tomatoes, citrus or salads with zingy dressings) choose an acidic wine. Excellent options include Sauvignon Blanc, dry Riesling, Chenin Blanc or a crisp Chardonnay.
  2. Try chilling your red – If you’re a red lover, despite what you may have heard, it is absolutely OK to chill your reds. Lighter wines like Pinot Noir, Grenache and Dolcetto are excellent choices for chilling, especially younger vintages. Red wines made using carbonic maceration are also delicious when served chilled.
  3. Make a wine cocktail – Not to diss sangrias and mimosas (which are indeed delicious if not ubiquitous), but there’s a whole world of wine cocktails waiting to be discovered that take advantage of summer’s bounty (see recipe below for one idea). Here are a few of our favorite summer wine cocktails to enjoy.
  4. Can it – More California wine brands are trying their hand at both still and sparkling canned wines. They are perfect to tote along to a picnic, and great to use in a wine cocktail when an entire bottle might be more than you need. Bonus — canned wines are widely viewed as a sustainable choice and more premium labels are starting to offer them.

Summer In the Vineyard

You’re not the only one who needs to quench their thirst in summer. Heat waves and dry conditions keep winegrowers on their toes all summer long. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and California farmers — whether growing winegrapes, avocados, lettuce or peaches — have leveraged new technologies to water their crops creatively and sustainably. 

Deficit irrigation has become increasingly popular among California winegrowers. They use a few different technologies to help them measure when grapevines go into deficit or stress and water only during those times. Drip irrigation is applied only where and when it’s needed to reduce evaporation and water waste. While vines that are watered in this way tend to have lower yields than traditionally irrigated crops, the trade-off is that the grapes have more concentrated flavors and produce higher-quality wines. Other winegrowers have dry-farmed vineyards, meaning that they don’t irrigate their crops at all. Vines grown in this way develop deep taproots that can access underground water.

Soil health also plays a huge role in how much a vineyard needs to be watered. Cover crops planted in spring help the soil retain water during hot, dry summers while keeping weeds out and preventing erosion, to name just a few benefits. And by inviting sheep into the vineyard, they add natural fertilizer while reducing impact otherwise caused by tilling machines or herbicides.

While groundbreaking technology is often utilized to help water vines most efficiently, when it comes to pest control more winegrowers are kickin’ it old school. Sustainable wineries use a variety of creative approaches to handle pesky problems. Some employ falconers to scare away smaller birds who are trying to enjoy a wine-country picnic. Others have added owl boxes to ward off both birds and rodents. Further down the food chain are beneficial insects such as ladybug larvae, lacewings and mealybug destroyers that nosh on other insects that can harm vines or fruit.

Let’s not forget that the vineyard crew also has an important role to play in the summer season. Skilled workers manage the vines’ canopies in a complex dance to ensure the right amount of shade, light and air circulation so grapes are both protected from sunburn but get enough sunlight and air to ripen in good time.

A Sensational California Peach Frosé Popsicle and Cocktail

Did you know that the Popsicle was invented in Oakland in 1905? Frank Epperson invented this frozen dessert sensation over 115 years ago, but it still reigns supreme today. Our Peach Frosé Popsicles are a refreshing blend of canned California cling peaches, peach nectar, and California Rosé frozen into Popsicle form. We like to think Frank would approve! Frosé Popsicles are great by themselves or can be served as a delightfully playful peach garnish when served in a wine glass with sparkling wine from California. As the Popsicles melt, the flavors mix and mingle with the sparkling wine creating a truly sensational cocktail experience.

A Sensational California Peach Frosé Popsicle and Cocktail

Ingredients

 For the Frosé popsicles: 

  • 2 heaped cups (336 g) peeled and sliced ripe peaches, divided. 
  • 1 2/3 cups (425 ml) California dry rosé  
  • 1/2 cup (150 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) granulated sugar, optional 

To serve as a cocktail: 

  • California Sparkling Wine  
  • Slices of fresh peach or orange wheel for garnish  
  • 1-2 fresh basil leaves per cocktail 

Freeze time: 8 hours or overnight 

Essential equipment: blender, 10 (2.5-ounce) freezer ice-pop molds and sticks 

Serves 10 popsicles

 

Directions

  • Purée half of the sliced peaches, rosé, orange juice and sugar on high speed in a blender until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup; discard any solids. 
  • Divide the peach mixture among Popsicle molds, leaving about 1" space at the top. Freeze until slightly slushy, about 1 hour.  
  • Meanwhile dice the remaining peach slices into very small pieces. 
  • Stir the semi-frozen mixture with a Popsicle stick, then divide the remaining diced fresh peaches amongst the popsicle molds, stirring to incorporate well with the Popsicle stick. 
  • Cover the molds, insert sticks, and freeze until the Popsicles are solid, at least 8 hours. 
  • To serve as a cocktail: 
  • Place the Popsicle upside down into a wine glass. Pour 4 ounces (118 ml) of California Sparkling Wine into the glass. Garnish with fresh peach slices and/or and orange wheel. Place 1-2 basil leaves in the palm of your hand and slap your hands together to release the aroma of the basil. Drop the leaves into the glass and serve immediately.  
  • Recipe notes:
  • Ice pops can be made 3 months ahead. Freeze until solid, then transfer to an airtight container and keep frozen.
  • If you cannot find fresh peaches or the peaches in your area are not super ripe you can use frozen peach slices or 1 (24-ounce, 796 ml) jar sliced California Cling peaches, drained, divided.  

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