Fridge Door Wines

For easy sipping, keep these eight oh-so-drinkable wines in your fridge door this summer. 

by Mary Bailey

Refreshing flavours and congeniality make these wines essential pours for summer. Keep them in the fridge door for easy access when friends come over.

Note: lighter-bodied reds such as these are ideal for summer drinking after a 10-minute stint in the fridge.

Fridge door wines

2016 XIC Xarel-lo (Penedes, Spain)
Switch up your regular crisp summer white with this new wine from Spain. XIC (pronounced chick) celebrates Xarel-lo’s creamy lemon curd texture and flavour along with a refreshing hit of citrusy acidity. Medium-bodied, bone dry and completely fun. Have with roasted olives and crostini-type appetizers, grilled fish or patatas bravas. Under $18, find at Color de Vino and the Wine Gallery.

2017 Cedar Creek Estate Riesling (Okanagan Valley, Canada)
Aromas and flavours of stone fruit, jasmine, tangerine, with lowish 10 per cent alcohol and a bit of residual sugar. The wine reads only slightly sweet due to the lovely acidity. Drink as an aperitif with cheese plates or have with calamari or spicy seafood, under $25.

2017 Gérard Bertrand Côte des Roses Rosé (Languedoc, France)
This attractive rosé in the pale Provence style has loads of flavour. Love the crisp rhubarb and creamy rose petal aromas, the juicy strawberry notes and the whisper of fruity sweetness. Medium-bodied, this Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah blend can go from glass while cooking to dinner easily. Have with fish tacos, chicken quesadillas, under $20.

2017 Bender Kulina Riesling (Mosel, Germany)
A regular in my fridge door due to its juicy acidity, crispy texture and lovely lime-scented and gunmetal aromas and flavours. Watch it, this is gulpable. Under $20, have with salad rolls or the goat cheese and thyme warm potato salad on page 17.

2016 Lock and Worth Cabernet Franc Rosé (Okanagan Valley, Canada)
Beautifully balanced with juicy acidity and a slight hint of tannin, a little spicy, delicious. Have this exceptionally well-made wine with lobster and potato salad, under $35.

2016 Culmina R&D Rosé (Okanagan Valley, Canada)
Ron and Don? Or research and development? This fun line of accessible wines from Culmina is named after both the Triggs brothers and the experimental attitude of the winery. The R&D Rosé blend of Merlot, Malbec and Cab Sauv is a lovely pale coral. With aromas and flavours of citrus and cherry and something like sheets hung on the line. This wine could possibly define summer, under $35.

2016 Bella Gamay Noir Rosé (Okanagan Valley, Canada)
Attention all bubbleheads! Not only is Bella a delightful glug, it’s made in such a wonderful lo-fi way—bottle-fermented, hand-riddled, hand-disgorged—here’s to non-intervention. Have with snacks on the porch, under $23.

2016 Baron de Ley Club Privado Tinto (Rioja, Spain)
This thirst-quenching, lighter-bodied red is a find. Love the red sweet cherry, strawberry and liquorice aromas, along with the cedar, warm spice and ripe tannins. Refreshing, drink as an aperitif, or with snacks, meat on a stick. Under $17.

2016 Azelia Bricco dell’Oriolo Dolcetto (Piedmont, Italy)
While most Piedmont producers are pulling their Dolcetto vines to plant something more expensive, thank the wine gods for Azelia. It is a classic Dolcetto, aromatic, great fruit, light-bodied, so so drinkable. “It’s a bit spicy from the clay soil. This Dolcetto is on the top of the hill, a monopole (vineyard with one owner) from my grandmother’s side of the family,” says Lorenzo Scavino of Azelia. “My father pays a lot of attention to the Dolcetto. He says it shows the quality and style of the winery.” If I could drink only one red all summer, this would be it. Have with prosciutto and melon, lightly-sauced pastas, grilled pork, cheeseburgers, around $27.

Mary Bailey (Dip WSET, FWS) is a frequent reacher into the fridge door during the summer.