Packing List: The best wines for your summer getaway

Summer is the time to get away, whether it’s for a long weekend or a month off the grid. If you’re traveling by car or train, there’s no reason not to pack a couple of bottles — it’s one less errand to run before you get down to the great unwind.

Impress your hosts or treat your favorite travel buddy with some of our recommendations, along with enticing food pairings. Fortunately, these wines pair equally well with the woods, the water, and the backyard patio.

Albariño

This aromatic, floral, and fruity white is typically served young, with little-to-no oak influence, allowing its orange blossom, honeysuckle, lemongrass, and green apple flavors to take center stage. The wine’s high acidity makes Albariño a refreshing palate cleanser between intense flavors or an excellent companion to lighter, herby dishes.

PA Albariño:
Grandview Vineyard, 2016 Albariño

Vidal Blanc

This white grape is grown across Pennsylvania, but the resulting vintages vary by region. Wines produced in the NorthWest region offer a bright crispness, while those from the SouthCentral region are more floral. Vidal Blanc often boasts tropical fruit notes and can be produced in dry, semi-dry, dessert or ice wine styles. Pair dry styles with light seafood and bright salads, off-dry styles with more substantial dishes and spice, and dessert or ice wine styles with sweet desserts or salty cheeses.

PA Vidal Blanc:
Pinnacle Ridge Winery, 2016 Vidal Blanc
Rose Bank Winery, Vidal Blanc

Baco Noir

Baco Noir is a dark-skinned, French-American hybrid. This versatile grape can be used to produce wines that span the spectrum — some resembling a delicate Pinot Noir, others a bold, in-your-face Bordeaux. Regardless of style, Baco Noir’s acidity and low tannins pair well with barbecued meats, tomato sauces, and lamb.

PA Baco Noir:
Glades Pike Winery, Baco Noir
Bee Kind Winery, Baco Noir

Cayuga

Cayuga is a workhorse. The grape is cold hardy, high yielding, disease resistant, reliably high quality, and can be made into dry, sweet, or sparkling wines depending on how early it’s picked. Found all across the state, Cayuga can be paired with anything from lobster rolls to apple pie depending on the style.

PA Cayuga:
Cherry Valley Vineyards, Cayuga
Shade Mountain Winery, Anniversary White

Riesling

Riesling is common across Pennsylvania, but varies greatly in flavor profile based on region. Wines from the NorthWest region have a sweet peach flavor with a crisp sourness, while SouthCentral varieties have more citrus and floral notes. While traditionally a sweeter wine, drier styles are increasing in popularity throughout the state. Riesling’s sweetness and high acidity makes it a perfect accompaniment to spicy foods.

PA Riesling:
Arrowhead Wine Cellars, Dry Riesling
Blue Mountain Vineyards, 2017 Riesling

Moscato

Made from the oldest grapes in the world, Moscato is a light-bodied, sweet white wine featuring tropical fruit notes and floral aromas. It can be produced in a slightly fizzy or still style. Often served as a dessert wine, Moscato pairs beautifully with fruit and vanilla-flavored desserts, but can also provide a refreshing companion to spicy cuisine.

PA Moscato:
Armstrong Valley Winery, Muscato
Waltz Vineyards, 2017 Moscato

Pinot Noir

A delicate dark-skinned variety, Pinot Noir is both a great introductory red and an ideal variety for connoisseurs. It is also one of the trickiest wines to produce, but when made well, the results can be magical. Pinot Noir is the Swiss Army knife of wines and can pair with almost anything. It is especially delicious when served with grilled salmon or pork chops.

PA Pinot Noir:
Fero Vineyards & Winery, Pinot Noir
Presque Isle Wine Cellars, 2016 Pinot Noir

To find additional wines from other wineries throughout PA Wine Land, click here. And if you would like to find out more about the other wine varieties grown in PA, check out our online version of the Pennslyvania Wines Guide

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