Food & Drink

Popular Light Wines and Beers Pair Great with Summer Menus

The popular wines for warm weather include Rosé, Sauvignon Blancs and Reislings. Credits: Christy Potter Kass
The Wine List of Summit offers an extensive selection of summer wines, spirits and beer. Credits: Christy Potter Kass

SUMMIT, NJ - Nothing pairs with a summertime dinner or barbecue quite like a cocktail. As the weather warms up, more people find that dark red wines and cold-weather spirits are a little too heavy when the sun is bearing down.

Fortunately, the increasing popularity of light wines means it's easier than ever to find just the right beverage for your summer festivities, whether it's a quiet patio dinner for two or a full-blown Fourth of July party.

Ivan Ruiz, owner of The Wine List of Summit, says he always reaches for lighter wines in the summer, like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir or a Riesling. His current favorite is an Argentinean white wine called Torrontes, which has apricot and peach notes.

Sign Up for E-News

"It's very floral on the nose and very dry on the palate," Ruiz said. If you can't bear to shelve your beloved red wines until the fall, he suggests reaching for a Rosé or a Beaujolais, a light-bodied red wine from France. These wines are particularly nice when chilled.

"You want to stay away from the dark red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Zinfandels during the summer," Ruiz said. "They are way too heavy for hot days.”

You can never go wrong with a Rosé, he said, even if all you're having is hotdogs.

Mixed drinks are also popular during the warmer months, and Ruiz said the Wine List has been selling more spirits than ever. Vodka, tequila and gin are big sellers, particularly when mixed with fresh-squeezed fruit juices. There will be mixologists on hand at the Summit Wine & Food Festival this fall to show how easy - and healthy - it is to make your own juice, which Ruiz said can also be done by children who want to make their own soda.

The Wine List has experts on hand to help you find just the right beverage for your meal. And if you don't have time to prepare a meal, you're in luck. Ruiz said his store is soon going to be partnering with Paolo's Kitchen of New Providence to offer healthy, “heat and eat” meals to go.

Ruiz admits he wasn't sold on the idea at first as he doesn't like frozen food. But the way Paolo's prepares the freshest foods before freezing makes all the difference and now Ruiz swears that once the frozen meals are heated, you can't tell they're not fresh.

"So if you're in a hurry, you worked late, you don't have time to cook, stop by here for a 'heat and eat' meal and a bottle of wine, and you're set," he said.

Now... let's talk about beer.

Ruiz admits that not everyone likes wine or mixed drinks during the summer, and for those people, The Wine List offers an extensive selection of beer, including the craft beers that have put so many regional microbreweries on the beer drinkers' map.

Beer expert Neil Rodriguez can answer most any beer-related question and direct you to just what you're looking for, whether it's a classic pilsner or a fruit-infused brew.

"In the old days, especially in this area, 'beer' almost always meant Ballantine, Schafer or Rheingold," Rodriguez said. "But Americans have begun to reconsider what good beer is all about. It's true that Americans are drinking more wine now, but beer still reigns supreme."

In the summer in particular, beer aficionados reach for lighter brews, like wheat beers, which Rodriguez said are very popular. Many small brewers are rediscovering the flavoring agents of the past, such as citrus and even rose petals.

“Belgian beer styles, for example, feature a broad variety of flavors and more adventurous west coast brewers have ventured into 'uber-hopped' beers that really push the envelope with regards to hop-bitterness and alcohol," he explained.

Thirsty yet? The Wine List of Summit is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays. They're located at 417 Springfield Avenue and at

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sun, April 22, 8:00 AM

Summit Summer Farmers Market, Summit

Summit Farmers Market

Community Calendar Food & Drink Green Health & Wellness


Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness Religions And Spirituality


Mon, April 23, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

Grades K-5: Books and Woofs

Arts & Entertainment Education

Summit Fire Department Blotter

02/01/2018, 7:26 am - FD dispatched to Route 78 East Bound mile marker 47.2 for a reported motor vehicle accident with entrapment and injuries. On arrival both the Springfield and Summit Fire Departments set up for extrication. The vehicle was chocked to stabilize the vehicle. EMS performed patient care. A hose line was stretched for possible fire suppression by the Berkeley Heights FD.

Summit Police Blotter

April 11, 2018

3/13 - Jayhee Cho, 32, of Summit was arrested and charged with criminal mischief. Mr. Cho was processed and released with a pending court date.

3/13 - Aseyefigh K. Papanye, 30, of Brooklyn, New York was arrested and charged with theft of credit cards, fraudulent use of credit cards, theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, obstruction of the administration of the law, and possession of ...

Audio: Point View's Petrides Says Despite Company Growth, Netflix Stock Valuation Just Too High

April 18, 2018

Point View Wealth Management's Managing Director and Portfolio Manager, John Petrides, live on Bloomberg Radio discussing what to do with Netflix stock post the strong quarterly results:

Note -  interview starts at 2:00-minute mark.

For nearly 25 years, Point View Wealth Management, Inc. has been working with families in ...

Team Veronica Holds "Be the Match" Drive Apr. 23

Team Veronica is coming to a town near you!

Veronica is a seven-year-old who is in need of a bone marrow transplant. Be The Match is a national registry for finding a match(es) for a bone marrow transplant. It is a simple swab test of the inside of your mouth. 

On Mon., April 23, Be The Match will be at the Bayonne Fire House from 3 - 7 p.m.

Veronica of West ...

Fear of Rising Rates? Remember The Reason You Own Bonds

If the current interest environment has you concerned about your bond portfolio, remember why you are investing in bonds.  The role bonds, or fixed income, play in a portfolio is not solely based on performance.  Bonds are used to offer stability, particularly when stock market volatility is rising. Rate hikes can dampen bond performance, but keep perspective on how rising rates impact ...

Cluelessly Clueless

I teenaged my way through high school under the assumption that my parents had no idea what I was doing.  I like to think I was pretty good at withholding information and presenting situations in ways that were other than they really were.


Still, sometimes they found things out.  Like the time my friends plopped me on our front door step at one o'clock in the morning ...

Practice for the PARCC @ Your Library

Students in Grades 3 and up who live in Summit can practice the Math and Language Arts skills that they learned in school and prepare for the upcoming PARCC exam using the Summit Free Public Library’s FREE subscriptions to Lumos Step Up and Learning Express.  

To access Lumos Step Up and Learning Express, visit the library’s website:

Mouse-over ...