A friend of mine who has not had much luck in the budget wine department asked me for summer wine recommendations. He tends to enjoy wines from Italy, Spain and France and he doesn't like anything too overly oaked or really high in alcohol. Here is the shopping list that I made for him based on what I think would work for his palate. I tried to keep the price point around $15 or less but keep in mind that prices will vary according to your retailer.
2008 Domaine La Fage Cote Est Blanc, Roussillon $11 - stainless steel fermented blend of Grenache Blanc & Gris, Chardonnay and Marsanne is lively and fresh with candied citrus notes. Perfect for the summer.
2007 Domaine le Hautes Noelles Muscadet Cotes de Grandlieu Sur Lie, Loire Valley $11 - crisp, lemony and minerally, it's a great wine for shellfish platters
2008 Dr Loosen Dr L Riesling, Germany $12 - tart green apple flavors with a slight sweet finish makes this a great match for sushi and Asian fare.
2008 Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand $10 - no summer would be complete without a bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc. Bright and citrusy with grapefruit flavors.
2007 Maculan Pinot & Toi, Veneto $12 - blend of Tocai, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Grigio is a great wine for lighter summer salads, grilled fish or something to sip on while you are cooking
2006 Domaines la Millieres Cotes du Rhone $13 - old vine Grenache based wine with bright raspberry and white pepper notes. A great wine for grilling.
2007 Altos de La Hoya Monastrell, Jumilla $10 - a big rich style that offers tons of juicy blackberry fruit flavors but still maintains a degree of elegance without going overboard.
2005 Capcanes Mas Donis, Montsant $12 - concentrated and minerally blend of old vine Grenache and Syrah. I've always been fond of this wine.
2006 Susana Balbo Crios Syrah-Bonarda, Argentina $13 - Susana Balbo is an extremely gifted winemaker and I just love this wine. Bonarda is much lighter than Malbec so the Syrah gives it a bit more weight.
2007 Li Veli Passamante Salento, Italy $11 - ripe, raisny Negroamaro with a smooth, soft texture. It's a great wine for every day enjoyment.