Wines of the fall and winter are intellectual. Brooding Barolos and thoughtful Amarones take concentration, patience and devotion. I love them, but they're not the wines I reach for in June, when all I want to do is be outside playing soccer with my kids or lounging in a hammock with nothing on my mind but the clouds scudding across the sky. Summer comes, and I want an easy-going wine, something that is happy with acidity, flavorful and laid-back: the wine equivalent of a pretty girl in a summer dress.
This week, I'm pleased to offer you two wines that are the epitome of summer ease, one from Hofstätter in Alto Adige and another from Bodega Chacra, Piero Incisa della Rocchetta's estate in Argentina, both of these artisanal wines are ready to drink right now, and each one will effortlessly accompany your favorite grilled food. No thinking needed; just open one of these and let the summer good times roll.
I'm also proud to offer wines from one of the last large holdings of Gianfranco Soldera Brunello Riserva 1996. Already collectable before the December tragedy, Soldera's wines have grown increasingly scarce. This is the second time I've been able to offer this bottling this year, and it sold out quickly the last time. Even though I'd never call Soldera "easy-drinking," this Riserva is delicious right now, and sometimes a night in early summer lends itself to some quiet meditation. This is the wine for those times.