Wine
Vineyard
Yes, summer is about easy-sipping rosés and refreshing whites on the patio. But this season, think beyond the obvious for a more complex pick. Six Charlie Palmer Team sommeliers explain their summer wine finds in terms of grape, tasting notes, and producers that you can try on their respective wine lists.
Wine
Lindsey Geddes
Lindsey Geddes
MS Wine Director, Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
The native Portuguese grape Antão Vaz, called the Chardonnay of Portugal, grown in the Alentejano region.

TASTING NOTES
A crisp, light, round style of Chardonnay similar to a Chablis from Burgundy. They both have a distinctive sea spray rolling of the ocean mouthfeel on the finish, but the schistist soils the Antão Vaz grows on gives the wine a hint of gunsmoke, compared to a Chablis, that has hints of oyster shell from the Kimmeridgian.

SERVE THIS
Slightly chilled in a Burgundy glass.

Pairs with
My favorite summer salad: fried crab, Thai style, served with papaya, jicama, cilantro, and curry vinaigrette. The acid in the wine lights up the salad’s heat while quenching the Vegas summer inferno.

Try this
Antão Vaz, Malhadinha Nova, Alentejano, Portugal 2016

Dan Prentice
Dan Prentice
General Manager, Dry Creek Kitchen
Off the beaten path
Grüner Veltliner is not particularly mainstream and hits your palate with a surprise of flavors, perfect on a warm Sonoma summer day.

Tasting notes
In a cool climate like its native Austria, Grüner Veltliner is vegetal with a predominant flavor of crisp citrus fruits and pronounced minerality. When grown in the United States, such as Steiner Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain, it presents characters of ripe citrus and tropical fruits, such as pineapple and guava.

Serve this
No decanting, just straight out of the bottle, preferably between 46°F and 52°F on a summer day. These wines have an amazingly refreshing character to them, and the aromatics are preserved by not serving it overly chilled.

Pairs with
Dishes that have a pronounced vegetal character. Right now, we are pairing a Grüner Veltliner with our day boat scallops with shaved celery, salt-baked celery root, and Fuji apples. One rather interesting pairing that I find works well is our pork belly terrine that uses rosemary, chives, and thyme with a cornichon purée. This wine is perfect for wrapping all those flavors together, providing a harmonious experience.

Try these
The only two producers making Grüner Veltliner in Sonoma County are Carlisle and Belden Barns, both on our list. They collectively planted the Steiner Vineyard in the early 2000s. Carlisle makes theirs in a clean, crisp style, while Belden Barns uses neutral oak to give off a more oxidative character. Same vineyard, two vastly different styles.

Philip Prifold
Philip Prifold
Sommelier, Charlie Palmer Steak Washington DC
Off the beaten path
Albariño should be on every table that has oysters or a seafood tower this summer.

Tasting notes
The world’s very best examples of Albariño hail from Galicia in Northwest Spain. It is known as Vinho Verde in Portugal, where the wines are slighter lighter in body weight and slightly petillant. As a variety, almost all expressions of Albariño offers the drinker a crisp, clean, refreshing glass of wine.

Serve this
Albariño is best served chilled.

Pairs with
Oysters and all kinds of seafoods. Think crab, lobster, and salmon.

Try this
At Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington DC we have a few excellent Albariños. Try the Peter Franus from Napa Valley and the Gallica Albariño, hailing from the Rock Heritage Vineyard in Calaveras County.

Jonathan McCarthy
Jonathan McCarthy
Head Sommelier, Charlie Palmer Steak NY
Off the beaten path
Trousseau Gris, which I fell in love with working at Dry Creek Kitchen, is an obscure clonal mutation of the red Trousseau grape from the Jura region of France.

Tasting notes
Proper, pale-orange Trousseau Gris gains complexity and richness from its extended skin contact. Light strawberry flavors that you’d expect from a typical rosé, as well as richer fruit flavors, including peach skin, crane melon, and even baking squash. There’s a textural richness as well, a fuller body, and a rounder, slightly chewier mouthfeel, which comes along with some suggestions of refreshing salinity.

Serve this
Best enjoyed at a cool temperature, like a rosé.

Pairs with
It works extremely well with seafood, especially salmon or trout, and light meats such as chicken, rabbit, or pork. Try it with our house seafood platter or salmon tartare, featuring hazelnuts, pickled squash, and togarashi, all of which play into this wine’s rich, savory, and compelling flavors.

Try this
As it is an extremely uncommon variety worldwide, the only extant block of modern cultivated Trousseau Gris that I know of personally is located in the Fanucchi-Wood Road vineyard of the Russian River Valley appellation of Sonoma County, California. We offer the beautiful 2017 Trousseau Gris produced by Jolie-Laide Winery.

Candace Olsen
Candace Olsen
Head Sommelier, Aureole NY
Off the beaten path
Viura in Spain, also called Maccabéo in Languedoc, France. Viura is the most important indigenous white varietal in Rioja and is an essential varietal in the blend for Cava in Spain. Rarely seen as a single cepage bottling, it is usually blended.

Tasting notes
Typically, it has mouthwatering citrus notes of lemon rind, fresh lime, green melon, white nectarine, kumquat, and touch of almond skin that accompanies the dry, almost saline finish. It can present itself as a young gulpable fresh white or as a complex rich white able to stand up to oak and long aging, producing prolific wines. Definitely a gem, especially if you’re one of those people that likes a white that drinks like a red.

Serve this
Depending on the style, I would serve the young fresh expressions in a classic all-purpose white glass between 40°F and 42°F. As for the aged Viura, I would serve it in a Bordeaux glass between 45°F and 50°F. Neither expression needs decanting.

Pairs with
A young, fresh wine goes well with salads, an heirloom tomato salad, stir-fried vegetables, poached salmon, or baked cod. For the older, richer, more complex styles, I recommend roast chicken or any pork dish.

Try this
As a young fresh expression, we have CVNE, Rioja Monopole Clásico Blanco 2015: a recent release based on an old traditional style from Rioja that blends Viura with 10 percent Manzanilla from sherry, adding just a touch of salinity to make it go perfectly with oysters and seafood. As for the rich, complex, nutty styles, we are lucky to have four older vintages of the legendary R.López de Heredía Viña Tondonía, Gran Reserva, Rioja, with 1981 our oldest.

Peter Triolo
Peter Triolo
Director of Food & Beverage, Charlie Palmer Steak Napa
Off the beaten path
An Assyrtiko white wine from Greece.

Tasting notes
Indigenous to Santorini, where the volcanic ash-rich soil gives it great minerality and acid with apple and lemon notes. This is a light, crisp, floral wine.

Serve this
Assyrtiko is best served chilled.

Pairs with
Great with feta-style cheeses, grilled chicken, and seafood. Try this with the oysters or rock rod fish tacos on our Sky & Vine menu.

Try this
We have a wonderful Assyrtiko from Nemea, Greece, produced by Ktima Pirgakis, available by the glass at Sky & Vine.