The Best Wines to Sneak into Your Local Pool This Summer

I’m not sure about you, but I love drinking poolside. It’s one of my favorite summertime activities after porch-sitting. I happen to belong to the local Jewish Community Center and while their pool is slightly overrun with children at all times, it’s a pool. I’ve never checked on the alcohol policy but I’m guessing it is something along the lines of “don’t BYOB”. But I’ve never been great with following rules, so I usually bring something inconspicuous that I can enjoy while I reread Freedom for the first time in seven years. You’ll notice everything I’ve chosen is canned because you can easily pretend you’re sipping soda or sparkling water-- throw that thing in a koozie and claim it’s a new La Croix flavor. You can find all of these at wine shops and liquor stores alike. Also, I didn’t take photos of these at the pool because I’m trying to be stealth, dude!

Frico Frizzante by Scarpetta

The first thing I thought when I saw the Frico Frizzante was “cute”. At just 8 ounces and with clever minimalist packaging (basically just a pig’s ass), it’s super sweet. It is also affordable at around $10 for a 4 pack. If you are a wine novice like me, you might have thought Frizzante was the varietal the first time you stumbled upon one (my first was the Gia Frizzante a few years ago). It actually just means that it is a “gently sparkling” wine. The Frico Frizzante is a blend of a shit ton of stuff: 50% Trebbiano, 25% Chardonnay and 25% Glera, or so a website I found says. It is super light and herbaceous with notes of fresh cut grass. It basically reminds me of a steamy summer evening having just mowed the lawn (not that I mow or do much domestic labor, but still). I find that I really like blends in cans. I like them already and drink plenty of blends out of bottles, but there’s always something interesting and funky about them that just tastes good in a can, preferably by the pool listening to new Fleet Foxes. Warning: you’ll want to drink the whole four pack in one sitting and I won’t judge you if you do. Not one bit.  

Edit: my can warmed up a bit because I’ve been enjoying it for a while and it’s still good! You get more body at a higher temperature-- the Chardonnay really shines through (and I’m a reformed Chardonnay nay-sayer). You probably shouldn’t be serving this ice-cold anyway since it’s not a shitty lite beer.  

Alloy Wine Works Everyday Rosé  

This wine was gifted to me by my friend Adrienne (she purchased it at a wine shop, but I know I’ve seen it at the liquor store) when she and her husband, Daniel, came over for dinner the other night (see the Shakshuka + Young Vines post). The first thing I thought was, “sweet! Free wine!” but then I thought, “oh, I could review this!” One of the things I love most about Alloy’s wines is their super unpretentious tasting notes on the back of their cans. This one straight up says “Sour Patch Kids” and I seriously dig that. This rosé is kind of dry but incredibly fruity, tasting like strawberries and ripe melon that you scooped into the most perfect little balls (I’ve never done that, but it looks immensely gratifying). I really want to know the varietals used to make this rosé because it has so much body. I know this used to be called Grenache Rosé rather than Everyday Rosé so I’m curious if they still use Grenache (I believe it’s actually a blend now). Whatever the grapes used, this shit is good. Not only is this great poolside but I can imagine it would be nice at the drive in. My aforementioned friends Adrienne and Daniel want to take us to the local drive in because they promised it makes for great people-watching and usually the movies aren’t too terrible. This tallboy of rosé would be perfect to sneak in and pair with some Sour Patch Kids.

Underwood Pinot Noir

This is one of the more ubiquitous wine in cans you will see. I love Underwood and I like the fact that you can find it in wine shops and grocery/liquor stores alike. Union Wine Co., who produces Underwood, seeks to be approachable in its take on wine. Its trademark is, “pinkies down”. They also have videos on their website poking fun at the old school and hipster winos alike. I dig it. I don’t think anything in life should be taken too seriously, wine included.  Underwood is also affordable at just around $6 for a can and about $14 for a bottle. The first time I had their wine in a can was at a pool in the mid-summer a few years ago. It was hot, but my pinot was chilled and it was the fucking best. Laying in the sun + drinking wine can get you pretty tipsy, but I was walking distance from home so it was chill. My palate has refined ever so slightly in the last few years, but the Underwood is still so good. This is a fruit-forward Pinot Noir, with big berries popping on your tongue. It particularly reminds me of bing cherries, which I associate with summer and my dad because I remember him eating them a lot with me in the summers as a kid. There is also a vanilla cola quality to this wine, like Vanilla Coke, which I’m not sure still exists but should. It’s solid. Pick this up at your next wine/liquor store haul.

So there you go, three wines that can be enjoyed poolside or on your couch binge watching The Keepers. Whatever floats your boat, my friend.

Scarpetta Timido Spumante Brut Rosé (Fuck National Rosé Day)

Apparently it is National Rosé Day because every damn day has to be something and it can’t just be Saturday. These national days are bullshit in my opinion, created to move product. That said, I am drinking rosé but it’s because I WANT TO not because someone told me it’s rosé day. The wine I chose to imbibe is the Scarpetta Timido Spumante Brut Rosé. I’ve had Scarpetta’s Frizzante as well as their red blend and loved both, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong with the rosé. This sparkling Italian wine is made from Franconia and Pinot Nero grapes in the Charmante Method, which is also used to make Prosecco.

The wine smells like fresh dirt and roses, like gardening, which I do not do. Also some fresh rhubarb, tart but sweet. The same dirt hits hard on the tongue, it’s not bad though, just tastes like being outside. It is floral and acidic, tasting like lilies, which I can’t have in the house because they are toxic to cats unfortunately. It is the loveliest orange pink color. It’s tart like underripe cherries or like a tart cherry pie. Tart cherry pie is one of my favorites to make even though I am a mediocre pie maker at best. They are usually ugly, but always tasty. My family agrees with me.

This rosé reminds me of a trip I took  to British Columbia when I was 21. I was visiting my Canadian cousin, who was a French teacher in Victoria. They had the cutest house in Victoria, which is the absolute cutest city in Canada as far as I’m concerned. I got there a night before my parents came and my cousin and I drank rosé and watched a French film. I was minoring in French and was still getting used to the fact that I could drink legally, and it was probably better wine than I had ever had. The film was a tragic story about a couple, one of whom had HIV and didn’t survive. I kept sipping my wine, amazed I was able to understand most everything. I slept so well on the couch that night and the next day I ate the best salmon of my life.

If you can pair this rosé with a French film and Salmon, good for you. I, on the other hand, am about to go eat Mexican food and see the Heartland Men’s Chorus, so you could say that this wine is a lovely aperitif. If you need an excuse to drink rosé, fine, live up National Rosé Day, but just remember, you don’t need permission to drink good shit. Rosé is great any day of the year, but especially in the summer. Oh and I match my rosé because I got so sunburnt at the pool today as I was reading Missoula (so good and infuriating! Have you read it?) It's also National Herbs and Spices Day if you were wondering. So happy... whatever.