Summer Wine Picks Perfect for Your Next Gathering

By Shelby Rowe Moyer

For Beth Tumas, co-owner of The Bottle Shop in Lake Geneva, nothing says summer like sitting out on the patio with a long-stemmed glass of wine and a group of friends.

Honestly, nothing sounds lovelier than that, so we couldn’t help but ask which wines were at the top of her list this season. With places opening back up, it feels like time for a little celebration, and few things denote that better than a great bottle of wine.

At The Bottle Shop, Tumas sells about 800 different wines, 50 beers and 40 spirits, along with about 20 different kinds of cheese.

With such a large selection of wines, you may be overwhelmed. So Tumas has shared some of her recommended picks:

  • Arona Sauvignon Blanc, $14.50
    A New Zealand wine with notes of grapefruit, passion fruit and pineapple.
    “I love that it’s a sustainably farmed wine,” Tumas says. “The wife grows the grapes and the husband is the winemaker.… It’s very crowd friendly. People love it. It’s also a screw cap, which people like because it’s easy access and great for a picnic.”
  • Ferrari Carano Chardonnay, $25
    Citrus, white peach, orange blossom, vanilla, graham cracker and butter aromas are simply the opening act of this delightful wine from Sonoma County. It has a slightly oaky and creamy taste, alongside notes of Meyer lemon, cinnamon and pear.
    “I think it’s just easy to drink,” Tumas says. “People who aren’t crazy about oak won’t be offended, and someone who wants oak is satisfied.”
  • Unshackled Rosé, $22
    Bright. Crisp. Juicy. All the things you want in a summer rosé. The flavor profile offers an array of grapefruit and lemon citrus with hints of tangerine. Tumas says she picked it, in part, for the name. Unshackled feels quite poignant right now.
    “It’s the perfect compromise wine. It’s a balance between the red and the white. You get the flavor and fun-ness of the red, but also chilled, like a white.”
  • Casa Santos Lima 2016 Lab Red, $10
    This red blend is a mix of Syrah, Castelao and Tinta Roriz grapes. It’s a ripe and juicy wine with a spicy texture and just a hint of wood from barrel aging.
    “Because of the economy right now, I increased the [number of] bins that I set at $10 a bottle, so people can come in and get a good bottle of wine for $10. This one I like because I’m a mom of two labs,” Tumas says. “It’s from Portugal, and it’s named for the 13 labs that run on the property.”
  • Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon, $53
    A major fan favorite from customers and Bottle Shop staff, this cabernet boasts black currants and cherry aromas with light smoky notes and dried spices. Though it’s pricier than some of Tumas’ other selections, it sells out at the store.
    “It’s not overly oaked,” she says. It’s got a lot of flavors. It’s rich in your mouth, but it’s not drying your mouth out. It’s thick and just delicious.”