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Where to Drink the Hottest Wine Selections for Summer in Houston, 2015

Prepare to impress your next date, we're salivating over these summer wines and the dishes to pair them with.

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Houston's sizzling summer has set in, and maybe it's left you lethargic and lazy, craving air-conditioned comfort and keeping you inside. But if you brave the heat and humidity, make sure you take yourself to one of these spots to check out some refreshing summer wines, guaranteed to make you love Houston summers.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bistro Provence

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13616 Memorial Dr
Houston, TX 77079
(713) 827-8008
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Bistro Provence. [Photo: Yelp/Bistro Provence]

The Domaine Millet Sancerre Rosé is from a very small, family winery in France’s Loire Valley, where the winemakers are the 3rd generation of their family to work the vineyards there. This Sancerre rosé is 100% Pinot Noir that’s a very light pink. “It is on the dryer side, but that is expected as it comes from the Loire Valley, but it is a very well balanced wine. I actually love it being slightly on the dry/acidic side because it makes it perfect for these hot summer days,” says owner Genevieve Guy. Drink it with the tomato confit tart, made with heirloom tomatoes.

2. Bistro Menil

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1513 W Alabama
Houston, TX 77006
(281) 900-3512
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Bistro Menil. [Photo: Facebook/Bistro Menil]

The 2013 Delas Cotes du Ventoux is a 60/40 granache and syrah blend from the south of France in the Rhone region, just north of Provence. It’s racy and jammy, making it an excellent partner for game. “It’s young enough that it’s not going to be too serious, but is big enough that it pairs wonderfully with duck confit, and even better with a classic cassoulet," says chef Greg Martin. Pair it with Bistro Menil’s crisp duck confit with pink peppercorn butter or the charcuterie sssortment with duck rillettes, jamon, chicken ballottine, and house-made French country pate, with olive-cured olive and almond biscotti.

3. Laurenzo's Restaurant

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4412 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 880-5111
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Laurenzo's. [Photo: Yelp/Laurenzo's]

Laurenzo’s Antonio Reynaldos recommends Bien Nacido Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, California. “It’s the epitome of a classic California Chardonnay,” he says. Bien Nacido translates to “well born,” and that’s definitely this baby. Its smoot, buttery texture and taste still manages to keep chardonnay’s dry style. Look for sweet hints of lime and lemon custard, as well as almonds and stone fruits. Deep and long finish. Pair it with the ceviche or the lemon-butter fish of the day.

4. Mockingbird Bistro

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1985 Welch St
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 533-0200
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Mockingbird Bistro. [Photo: Paula Murphy]

Adrian Cuneo, general manager and sommelier says you need to know about the 2013 Weinrieder, Weiessburgunder from Birthal, Austria. Sure, that sounds like a mouthful, but this alpine delight has notes of yellow fruits, light pineapple and hints of lemon. “It’s powerful but yet precise, with a long finish of peach and apricot, and it’s full of body and razor sharp acidity,” says Cunero. Pair it with Mockingbird’s crispy Gulf oysters, the Happy Hour ceviche or pan seared diver Scallops or Bouillabaisse dinner entrees.

5. Ouisie's Table

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3939 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 528-2264
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Ouisie's Table. [Photo: Facebook/Ouisie's Table]

The Planeta Frappato 2013 offers soft tannins and a medium acidity, making this a great red wine for summer. Frappato is an indigenous Italian grape primarily found in the region of Sicily. The wines produced are very light in color, like Gamay or Pinot Noir, with aromatics of red fruits such as cherry, raspberry, and cranberry with floral qualities or rose and lychee. "The true beauty of this wine is its availability to pair with a multitude of foods, ranging from fish, chicken, beef or lamb. It's the kind of wine I go looking for in the middle of Houston summer." Wafi Dinari, general manager and co-owner. Pair it with the Moroccan lamb meatballs, new on the menu.

6. Paul's Kitchen

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2502 Algerian Way
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 360-2002
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Paul's Kitchen. [Photo: Facebook/Paul's Kitchen]

Wine guy Sean Essex encourages you to check out the 2011 Saddleback Cellars Viognier fro Clarksburg in Northern California. “This northern Rhone-reminiscent Viognier is a brilliant summer wine that has great versatility,” says Essex. Its lemon meringue and apple blossom notes can easily hook up with Paul’s Baked Gulf Oysters and the Charred Bone Marrow, while the wine’s medium plus body, great minerality and medium acidity work equally well with the Pumpkin Seared Crusted Grouper and Pork Shoulder.

7. PESKA Seafood Culture

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1700 Post Oak Blvd Ste 190
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 961-9229
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Peska. [Photo: Peska/Debora Smail]

Wine Manager Kelly Spradley says you want the Pascal Granger Beaujolais Villages Le Fetrau 2011. Why? This French stunner is all Gamay, the grape behind the ever-popular Beaujolais Nouveau. Its all fruit and fun, light enough for the swelter of summer, but with enough depth to complement something like the Tostada Caramelo, one of Peska’s signature dishes, a house-made corn tostada topped with chipotle mayo and diced yellowfin tossed in a citrus soy, and finished with red wine caramelized red onions and crispy leeks. “You might not normally think to pair a dish like this with a red, but they complement each other beautifully,” says Spradley. The wine’s fruity notes help to balance the complexity of the tuna, corn and fried leeks and offers a refreshing counterpoint to the spice of the chipotle.”

8. Prego

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2520 Amherst St
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 529-2420
Visit Website

Prego. [Photo: Prego Website]

Italy’s Ca Maiol winery is in the Lugana region of northern Italy, on the shores of Lake Garda. Prego’s sommelier Rafael Espinal urges you to check out their Chiaretto rose. It’s made from Gropello, Marzemino, Sangiovese and Barbera. It’s a perfectly pink color with fresh strawberry and spring flowers gushing from the glass. “The lively acidity and crisp minerality beg to be paired with grilled fish and hearty summer salads,” says Espinal. “This is perfect for the patio and the Houston heat.” It pairs beautifully with the Prego Salad of arugula and radicchio tossed with an apple walnut vinaigrette and served with a grilled portobello mushroom, orange slices and peppered goat cheese.

9. Quattro

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1300 Lamar St
Houston, TX 77010
(713) 650-1300
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Quattro. [Photo: Quattro Website]

Sommelier Valerio Lombardozzi offer up the Terre di Talamo Vermentino di Toscana as a hidden gem. “At first glance the wine is a straw yellow color, but as you smell it one can tell how complex it becomes” he says. Vermentinto is a flavorful grape easily balancing alcohol, acidity and a range of flavors. The complexity comes from the area in which the grape is grown, which is very hot and sunny leading to great ripeness in the fruit. This wine’s mineral background and acidity this wine is perfect with Quattro’s Burrata.

10. Triniti

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2815 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 527-9090
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Triniti. [Photo: Yelp/Nonae V.]

“Grenache Blanc is one of my favorite varietals,” says Triniti GM and Sommelier Rob Harvey, who recommends 2011 from Epiphany Cellars Grenache Blanc from California’s Santa Ynez Valley. “This just hits all the right notes for summer, with white flower aromas, and flavors of grapefruit, honeysuckle and under-ripe pear.” Pair it with the Asparagus and Speck salad with soft duck egg, pea shoots, mushrooms, pumpernickel, truffle, sherry vinegar and duck fat or the whole fish, with lemon, herbs, and peanut meuniere.

11. Urban Eats

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3414 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007
(832) 834-4417
Visit Website

Urban Eats. [Photo: Facebook/Urban Eats]

The IF YOU SEE KAY is a red wine blend from the Lazio region of Italy, just South of Tuscany. This blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Verdot, 5% Syrah, and 5% Primitivo. “The wine is dark purple to the rim, has massive ripe black fruit and rich spice aromas hit you right away,” says Chef Levi Rollins. Look for dense blackberry and mocha flavors, a powerful, mouth-filling texture, and “a finish that goes on forever, with hints of smoke and grilled meat lingering at the end.” Drink this one with the Brasserie Signature Sliders on a rosemary garlic roll, made of slow cooked beef cheek smothered in red wine mushroom reduction, sliced red potato, brie & smoked paprika aioli.

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1. Bistro Provence

13616 Memorial Dr, Houston, TX 77079

Bistro Provence. [Photo: Yelp/Bistro Provence]

The Domaine Millet Sancerre Rosé is from a very small, family winery in France’s Loire Valley, where the winemakers are the 3rd generation of their family to work the vineyards there. This Sancerre rosé is 100% Pinot Noir that’s a very light pink. “It is on the dryer side, but that is expected as it comes from the Loire Valley, but it is a very well balanced wine. I actually love it being slightly on the dry/acidic side because it makes it perfect for these hot summer days,” says owner Genevieve Guy. Drink it with the tomato confit tart, made with heirloom tomatoes.
13616 Memorial Dr
Houston, TX 77079

2. Bistro Menil

1513 W Alabama, Houston, TX 77006

Bistro Menil. [Photo: Facebook/Bistro Menil]

The 2013 Delas Cotes du Ventoux is a 60/40 granache and syrah blend from the south of France in the Rhone region, just north of Provence. It’s racy and jammy, making it an excellent partner for game. “It’s young enough that it’s not going to be too serious, but is big enough that it pairs wonderfully with duck confit, and even better with a classic cassoulet," says chef Greg Martin. Pair it with Bistro Menil’s crisp duck confit with pink peppercorn butter or the charcuterie sssortment with duck rillettes, jamon, chicken ballottine, and house-made French country pate, with olive-cured olive and almond biscotti.
1513 W Alabama
Houston, TX 77006

3. Laurenzo's Restaurant

4412 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

Laurenzo's. [Photo: Yelp/Laurenzo's]

Laurenzo’s Antonio Reynaldos recommends Bien Nacido Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, California. “It’s the epitome of a classic California Chardonnay,” he says. Bien Nacido translates to “well born,” and that’s definitely this baby. Its smoot, buttery texture and taste still manages to keep chardonnay’s dry style. Look for sweet hints of lime and lemon custard, as well as almonds and stone fruits. Deep and long finish. Pair it with the ceviche or the lemon-butter fish of the day.
4412 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007

4. Mockingbird Bistro

1985 Welch St, Houston, TX 77019

Mockingbird Bistro. [Photo: Paula Murphy]

Adrian Cuneo, general manager and sommelier says you need to know about the 2013 Weinrieder, Weiessburgunder from Birthal, Austria. Sure, that sounds like a mouthful, but this alpine delight has notes of yellow fruits, light pineapple and hints of lemon. “It’s powerful but yet precise, with a long finish of peach and apricot, and it’s full of body and razor sharp acidity,” says Cunero. Pair it with Mockingbird’s crispy Gulf oysters, the Happy Hour ceviche or pan seared diver Scallops or Bouillabaisse dinner entrees.
1985 Welch St
Houston, TX 77019

5. Ouisie's Table

3939 San Felipe St, Houston, TX 77027

Ouisie's Table. [Photo: Facebook/Ouisie's Table]

The Planeta Frappato 2013 offers soft tannins and a medium acidity, making this a great red wine for summer. Frappato is an indigenous Italian grape primarily found in the region of Sicily. The wines produced are very light in color, like Gamay or Pinot Noir, with aromatics of red fruits such as cherry, raspberry, and cranberry with floral qualities or rose and lychee. "The true beauty of this wine is its availability to pair with a multitude of foods, ranging from fish, chicken, beef or lamb. It's the kind of wine I go looking for in the middle of Houston summer." Wafi Dinari, general manager and co-owner. Pair it with the Moroccan lamb meatballs, new on the menu.
3939 San Felipe St
Houston, TX 77027

6. Paul's Kitchen

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX 77098

Paul's Kitchen. [Photo: Facebook/Paul's Kitchen]

Wine guy Sean Essex encourages you to check out the 2011 Saddleback Cellars Viognier fro Clarksburg in Northern California. “This northern Rhone-reminiscent Viognier is a brilliant summer wine that has great versatility,” says Essex. Its lemon meringue and apple blossom notes can easily hook up with Paul’s Baked Gulf Oysters and the Charred Bone Marrow, while the wine’s medium plus body, great minerality and medium acidity work equally well with the Pumpkin Seared Crusted Grouper and Pork Shoulder.
2502 Algerian Way
Houston, TX 77098

7. PESKA Seafood Culture

1700 Post Oak Blvd Ste 190, Houston, TX 77056

Peska. [Photo: Peska/Debora Smail]

Wine Manager Kelly Spradley says you want the Pascal Granger Beaujolais Villages Le Fetrau 2011. Why? This French stunner is all Gamay, the grape behind the ever-popular Beaujolais Nouveau. Its all fruit and fun, light enough for the swelter of summer, but with enough depth to complement something like the Tostada Caramelo, one of Peska’s signature dishes, a house-made corn tostada topped with chipotle mayo and diced yellowfin tossed in a citrus soy, and finished with red wine caramelized red onions and crispy leeks. “You might not normally think to pair a dish like this with a red, but they complement each other beautifully,” says Spradley. The wine’s fruity notes help to balance the complexity of the tuna, corn and fried leeks and offers a refreshing counterpoint to the spice of the chipotle.”
1700 Post Oak Blvd Ste 190
Houston, TX 77056

8. Prego

2520 Amherst St, Houston, TX 77005

Prego. [Photo: Prego Website]

Italy’s Ca Maiol winery is in the Lugana region of northern Italy, on the shores of Lake Garda. Prego’s sommelier Rafael Espinal urges you to check out their Chiaretto rose. It’s made from Gropello, Marzemino, Sangiovese and Barbera. It’s a perfectly pink color with fresh strawberry and spring flowers gushing from the glass. “The lively acidity and crisp minerality beg to be paired with grilled fish and hearty summer salads,” says Espinal. “This is perfect for the patio and the Houston heat.” It pairs beautifully with the Prego Salad of arugula and radicchio tossed with an apple walnut vinaigrette and served with a grilled portobello mushroom, orange slices and peppered goat cheese.
2520 Amherst St
Houston, TX 77005

9. Quattro

1300 Lamar St, Houston, TX 77010

Quattro. [Photo: Quattro Website]

Sommelier Valerio Lombardozzi offer up the Terre di Talamo Vermentino di Toscana as a hidden gem. “At first glance the wine is a straw yellow color, but as you smell it one can tell how complex it becomes” he says. Vermentinto is a flavorful grape easily balancing alcohol, acidity and a range of flavors. The complexity comes from the area in which the grape is grown, which is very hot and sunny leading to great ripeness in the fruit. This wine’s mineral background and acidity this wine is perfect with Quattro’s Burrata.
1300 Lamar St
Houston, TX 77010

10. Triniti

2815 S Shepherd Dr, Houston, TX 77098

Triniti. [Photo: Yelp/Nonae V.]

“Grenache Blanc is one of my favorite varietals,” says Triniti GM and Sommelier Rob Harvey, who recommends 2011 from Epiphany Cellars Grenache Blanc from California’s Santa Ynez Valley. “This just hits all the right notes for summer, with white flower aromas, and flavors of grapefruit, honeysuckle and under-ripe pear.” Pair it with the Asparagus and Speck salad with soft duck egg, pea shoots, mushrooms, pumpernickel, truffle, sherry vinegar and duck fat or the whole fish, with lemon, herbs, and peanut meuniere.
2815 S Shepherd Dr
Houston, TX 77098

11. Urban Eats

3414 Washington Ave, Houston, TX 77007

Urban Eats. [Photo: Facebook/Urban Eats]

The IF YOU SEE KAY is a red wine blend from the Lazio region of Italy, just South of Tuscany. This blend is 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petite Verdot, 5% Syrah, and 5% Primitivo. “The wine is dark purple to the rim, has massive ripe black fruit and rich spice aromas hit you right away,” says Chef Levi Rollins. Look for dense blackberry and mocha flavors, a powerful, mouth-filling texture, and “a finish that goes on forever, with hints of smoke and grilled meat lingering at the end.” Drink this one with the Brasserie Signature Sliders on a rosemary garlic roll, made of slow cooked beef cheek smothered in red wine mushroom reduction, sliced red potato, brie & smoked paprika aioli.
3414 Washington Ave
Houston, TX 77007

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