I have been working at One News Plaza for 28 years and have hosted many events here. My wife recently had the idea to invite a few people to sit out on the fifth floor deck, listen to music from Canalside and sip some summer wine. For all these years we almost never used the deck, and I know why. There was nothing going on. Now there are thousands of people enjoying the new Buffalo, making for a lively evening.

It was a perfect day for a deck party. Even though it was in the mid-80s it felt very comfortable with the breeze coming off the lake. Everyone brought some light summer fare to enjoy with the wines.

I shopped the day before, specifically looking for wines that would be easy to drink on a warm day. Mainly I drink Pinot Noir in in summer, but I wanted to try some pink and white wines. All of these wines are available locally and they all fit into our reasonable price range. I had enough wine to serve 12-14 guests, and the total cost was around $200.

 

2015 Chateau Puech-Haut Languedoc Prestige Rosé

Languedoc-Roussillon, France, $20 or less

The Rosé aisle is not usually my favorite in the wine store, but I did want to find some lighter summer wines, so that’s where I headed. When I saw the Puech-Haut, I knew my wife would like it. (She picks wines like she chooses racehorses: does it look good and does it have a catchy name?) Our group tried this wine first, and everyone loved it. It was refreshing and had lots of strawberry flavor. I bought a case to serve through summer; it’s a real value.

 

2013 Richter Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese

Germany, $30 or less

Some of the greatest white wines come from Germany and some can be very pricey. An outstanding Riesling for under $30, like this one, is a real find. This sweet wine has tropical fruit and a zing in every mouthful. I enjoyed it with an amazing strawberry, tomato, avocado and almond salad.

 

2013 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett

Germany, $24 or less

Less sweet that the Spatlese, the Kabinett features wonderful citrus and honeydew flavors that are very refreshing for summer. It made a great complement to bruschetta, grapes, strawberries and raspberries.

 

2013 Moulin-à-Vent Beaujolais

France, $23 (give or take)

I really loved this wine and recommend that you get some to enjoy now — it’s not a wine to lay down for a long time, although it should be fine for at least a couple of years. The fruit is beautiful, lots of berries. I served it slightly chilled, and everyone loved it.

 

2014 Domaine Lafage Bastide Miraflors Vieilles Vignes

Languedoc-Roussillon, France, around $15 (A real bargain)

I have become such a fan of Syrah blends from Washington that I’ve been overlooking some of the great values from France. This wine was wonderful, displaying lots of dark fruits and anise, as well.

 

2013 Chateau Saint-Roch Cotes du Roussillon Chimeres

France, around $17

Put this one on your shopping list for sure. It’s a bargain — it drank like wine that cost three times the price, with lots of dark fruit and plenty of spice. Many of the wines we tasted at this event were from the same region in France, and they are all excellent and great values. I hope we can go back again and spend time exploring these great wineries.

 

2013 Domaine Lafage Tessellae Carignan Vielles Vignes

France, less than $15

This red wine was a big hit. I especially loved the delicious berries, anise and chocolate. Not to be to repetitive, but this is a wine to go and buy. It’s just terrific.