Fun Summer Wine Pairings: Sip, Sup, Repeat!

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Here in Philadelphia, life slows down a bit in June, July, and August. Wonderful white, refreshing rosé, and even slightly chilled robust red wines are just waiting to be sampled at your leisure, partnered with delectable snacks of course!

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Summer wine pairings are like summer love: Fleeting perhaps, but SO great when they work out! Entertaining Philadelphians know all about mixing and matching fine vinos and tasty eats — and how it can be done without heating up the kitchen, too! So pull up a deck chair and raise a glass to the most relaxing season of all!

Whites and Roses and No-Cook Delights

When it comes to wonderful blends of wine and food, the key is hitting the right flavor notes. A very simple — but simply terrific — combo is prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks and a fine rosé made with pinot noir grapes. The salty ham is a perfect counterpoint to the delicate yet complex rosé from Anthony Nappa Wines. This is a delightful way to kick off an evening on the porch!

Other fabulous summer wine pairings involve white wines and cheese boards. How about a tasting of pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay with an array of cheeses including tangy goat brie, smooth saga blue, and a nice sharp Irish cheddar? Add a complement of crackers or slices of baguette and you have a feast that’s portable, too (pack it all in a basket and head for the hills — or the beach). Find your perfect cheeses at Di Bruno Brothers, with several convenient Philly locations.

Thinking “Inside the Box” with Hearty Reds, Veggies, and Shrimp

It may seem that reds and summer don’t go together, but think “inside the box.” Once shunned by wine aficionados, boxed wines have come a very long way in a very short time. Yellow and Blue Malbec is just delicious with a garlic aioli dip and an assortment of raw veggies. Another zesty boxed red? Try this California cabernet slightly chilled with herbed marinated shrimp.

Pop the Cork and Celebrate with Canapes and Bubbly

When the occasion is extra-special (think summer weddings, graduations, just because, etc.), the bubblier, the better! Italian prosecco has exploded onto the U.S. sparkling wine scene in recent years, rivaling Spanish cavas in popularity. But why choose? Pop the cork on a bottle of each and compare! What’s an elegant and easy accompaniment? Sliced smoked salmon on buttered pumpernickel bread rounds!

A Sweet Happy Ending to a Summer Evening

This summer wine pairing is too much fun to stop at appetizers! Yummy dessert wines and sweets from a great area bake shop are an after-dinner match made in heaven. Round up the gang to watch the firefly display in the backyard while enjoying sips of Allegro Winery’s Jazz from Pennsylvania, (hints of raspberry) and bites of decadent triple chocolate mousse cake from the ultimate Philly bakery Zake’s Cafe in nearby Fort Washington.

So there you have it: Philadelphia summer get-togethers of refreshing wines, no-cook food, and the best of friends. Who could ask for anything more? Well, you could move here.

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Elise Seyfried is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, PA. She is the author of two books of humorous spiritual essays, and a playwright (co-author of 15 plays for children). Her work regularly appears in the Chestnut Hill (PA) Local and The Word in Season (devotional). She has also written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lutheran Digest, Guideposts magazine, Metropolis and The Wittenburg Door. Elise was the lyricist for the Stanley Drama Award-winning musical Flight, based on the life of Howard Hughes. Elise has served as publicist for the Lewes (DE) Chamber Music Festival, as well as the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, ME.She is the mother of five children, and her family life is prominently featured in her writing. Elise's topics to date have included children/parenting issues, humor and spirituality. An avid cook, Elise also enjoys writing about food and dining. Since 2002, Elise has been Director of Spiritual Formation at Christ's Lutheran Church in Oreland, PA; previously, she worked for years as an actress. She blogs at www.eliseseyfried.blogspot.com.

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