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Summer by the bottle
Area wine experts advise light varieties for season

Jaclyn Youhana

A back porch. The setting sun. A few crickets, enough to be melodic but not so many you consider stuffing your ears with cotton balls.

It’s Friday evening, time to relax and ponder what the weekend holds in store. At your hand, a glass of wine.

What’s in the glass?

Something so thick it fills the mouth like motor oil isn’t quite what the sommelier ordered. Lighter, crisper varieties, maybe ones that are best chilled, rule in July and August, and some area restaurateurs and wineries have suggested just the right wines to complement that sweet summer night.

A Moscato is an ideal summer wine that has grown in popularity over the years, says Andrea Meyer, general manager at Eddie Merlot’s.

“That’s one that you don’t necessarily have to have food with,” she says. “It’s kind of just a nice wine to start your night off with.”

Coming right up on the heels of Moscato in popularity is Traminette, says Christina Koher, director of marketing for Satek Winery in Fremont. In the family of Gewürztraminers, Traminette is Indiana’s signature wine. It tastes great chilled, she says, and has a broad appeal.

Another popular summer wine for Satek is the winery’s Mango Mania, a wine with no grapes made instead from fermented mango juice.

“It’s a little bit sweeter, so people who aren’t necessarily everyday wine drinkers would find that appealing,” Koher says. “It gives you that feeling that you should be on the beach, even in the dead of winter.”

For those who are wine drinkers and are looking for a good summer red, Marko’s on 2nd in Decatur owner Mark Graves suggests a pinot noir, which is much lighter than the heavier cabernets.

His favorite summer wine, however, is sauvignon blanc, especially out of New Zealand or Napa.

“It’s kind of got this citrus overtone,” Graves says, “and a lot of times, it’s almost got like a grapefruit taste to it.”