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It’s that time again. The sun is beating down, the temperatures are starting to soar, and you need to escape somewhere, anywhere. The great outdoors beckons — even if it’s just a backyard patio, a big umbrella, some deck chairs, and a nice glass of chilled white wine. For summer sipping, what you need are thirst-quenchers and grill partners — nothing too fancy, serious, or expensive. Our case of the month mixes reds with whites, a dry sherry, and some bargain-basement brut champagne. None of these wines costs more than $20; most are $10-$15. For preprandial sipping, you can celebrate the advent of summer with the very light but bone-dry brut from Ayala. As an alternative, try a well-chilled glass of the yeasty yet floral Fino “Jarana” sherry from the shipper Emilio Lustau. The whites we’ve chosen are all light and refreshing. The pinot blanc “Herrenweg,” for example, smells like a bouquet of spring flowers. Trimbach’s pinot gris r�serve is spicier and a bit firmer, but both of these bang-for-the-buck wines from Alsace would go brilliantly with all sorts of hors d’oeuvres. Good chablis — and the example from Hamelin is more than just “good” — is always a great match with shellfish. But the crisp white Graves from the Ch. de Cruzeau would do the job too, as would that old favorite, the Macon-Lugny “Les Genievres” from Louis Latour. If you really want to chill out, though, try the Wehlener Sonnenuhr riesling kabinett, a deliciously peachy Mosel from Dr. Loosen — and sip it by itself. Summer reds are just made for pairing with grilled food. The Conn�table Talbot from the commune of St. Julien in Bordeaux is an incredible bargain at $16 and would be magnificent with lamb chops or steaks. For a succulent alternative, try the Crozes-Hermitage “Jalets” from Paul Jaboulet. Lighter choices include Antinori’s Tuscan bargain “Santa Cristina” and any of Louis Jadot’s Beaujolais standouts (Fleurie, Brouilly, Morgon, and Moulin-a-Vent). We’ll choose the round and fruity Brouilly, the Dom. du Monnet. It’s a beauty. Now go light up that grill. GRILL TIME FAVES � Champagne Ayala brut nonvintage, $17 � Lustau Fino “Jarana,” $8.50 � 1997 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett (Dr. Loosen), $13.50 � 1996/98 Ch. de Cruzeau, $12 � 1997 Macon-Lugny “Les Genievres” (Louis Latour), $8.50 � 1997/98 Chablis “Vieilles Vignes” (Dom. Hamelin), $18 � 1997/98 Alsace Pinot Gris “R�serve” (Trimbach), $13 � 1998 Alsace Pinot Blanc “Herrenweg” (Dom. Schleret), $13.50 � 1997/98 Tuscan red “Santa Cristina” (Antinori), $10 � 1995 Conn�table Talbot, $16 � 1997/98 Crozes-Hermitage “Les Jalets” (Paul Jaboulet), $10 � 1999 Brouilly (Dom. du Monnet/Louis Jadot), $13

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