Yup, there’s no denying that it’s summer.  All the signs are there. Many of my friends are either on vacation or are planning to take off soon. There’s a bottle of Rosé in my refrigerator door (because … you never know). We’ve just had quite a go at Anya’s annual apricot bounty, and are ready to follow that up with a visit to the farmers’ market tomorrow to kick off peach season! Heirloom tomatoes to follow shortly, though I’ve been already enjoying some dry-farmed Early Girls that my sister has generously provided via her trusted supplier. Yes, this is the time to hit that market as the sights, sounds, and smells are fantastic this time of year. I know that farmers’ markets are all about the fruits and vegetables, but each time I visit the Marin Sunday Farmers’ Market, I am strongly tempted by the Marin Sun Farms set-up. Oscar Wilde once said, “The only way to eliminate temptation is to yield to it.” Yep, that pretty much sums it up for me. Fresh produce and some prized grass-fed beef will have me reaching for something red by the time that steak leaves the grill pan. Okay, knowing that this is how tomorrow will go down, leaves me with the question, what to drink with tomorrow’s dinner? It’s going to be the 2010 Quinta do Alqueve Tradicional.

 

 

A friend of mind was recently in Portugal and had the pleasure of sharing several meals complete with wine pairings with the locals while there. She posted something about it on Facebook, I hit the like button, and she began texting me pictures of the wine labels she was enjoying. I told her that our Portuguese section was rather slim lately, but that we have a super red blend that’s long on complexity and very short on price, the 2010 Alqueve Tradicional. We’ve been big fans of this wine for a while, and why not?  For the price, its complexity is unrivaled. Seriously, I still don’t know how they do it! It’s a four grape blend: Touriga Nacional, Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo), Trincadeira and Periquita. That in itself gives the wine an abundance of complexity and 6 months time in small barrels lends additional complexity and texture to the wine. I would call it medium bodied with a fresh red and purple fruit profile. It’s a great food wine due to its vibrant acidity, but its mineral core combined with its freshness, not to mention price, will get it a headlining role on my table tomorrow night!

 

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer. Whether taking time off, heading out of town, or just hitting the farmers’ market for summer’s bounty, be sure to make some happy memories of the summer of 2014. Anya’s headed up to the river, baseball season is more than half over, the fog is hovering over the coast, and peaches are entering their peak month! Yep, it’s summer alright.  Looking for a red wine that drinks well in summer? Look no further than the 2010 Quinta do Alqueve Tradicional. – Peter Zavialoff

 

 

Please feel free to email me with any questions or comments about Portuguese wines, Bordeaux, summer wines, or the upcoming season for English football: peter@wineSF.com