Three Great Wines to Pour this Summer

From Irv "Junior" Williams, bar manager, Il Vesco Vino southern Italian restaurant on Selby Avenue in St. Paul.


Bardolino Chiaretto Rosé, Cavalchina 2006

Drinking rosé and listening to live jazz might just be my idea of a perfect summer day. I’m really looking forward to the Bardolino Chiaretto from the Cavalchina estate for summer. With cherries and pistachio, it’s very juicy and has nicely balanced alcohol with a tart finish. This wine is super food friendly—great with poultry, game, white- and red-sauced pastas. My recipe for heaven is equal parts summer, Saturday afternoon, pasta, and Bardolino Chiaretto.


Falanghina Beneventana, Vesevo 2005

Falanghina, which comes from the Campania region of southern Italy, has a minerality that is very summery. This comes from the fact that it’s grown in volcanic soil in close proximity to Mount Vesuvius. The region’s and Vesuvius’s impact on wine has an ancient tradition dating back to Roman times, with references made in both Pliny’s Natural History and Homer’s The Odyssey. The wine itself is dry, crisp, and refreshing with hints of gardenia and melon on the nose. It’s perfect for drinking on the patio on a hot summer day, either alone or paired with calamari or a summer salad.


Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Rustico, Franco NV

Italy’s answer to champagne, Prosecco is a great addition to picnics and summer celebrations because it tastes great even when it’s not super cold, and is very well priced for the value. The straw-colored Rustico, which we pour by the flute, has been the inspiration for many of my summer champagne cocktails. It’s so versatile—great alone or with food, from antipasti through to dessert. It has a great aroma of peachy softness, golden apples, and pear. I always have at least one bottle in my fridge ready to go.