Crave | Pour Choices Island wines to beat the heat By Chris Ramelb July 27, 2021 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! PHOTO BY CHRIS RAMELB During these hot and humid summer months, I find myself thirstier than ever — which is something I never thought possible. Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. During these hot and humid summer months, I find myself thirstier than ever — which is something I never thought possible. At times, when the oppressive heat and humidity make it difficult to think, at least the choice of wine becomes a lot clearer. As the throngs of arriving tourists confirm, we live on one of the most desirable archipelagos in the world. Therefore, it only makes sense that we incorporate wines made from other islands across the globe into our regular drinking rotation. Here are two bottles that I stash deep in the fridge when the waters of Waikiki feel more like a hot tub than a beach. Whether you want something to pair with seafood or an appetizer, the following selections are sure to please, and the simpler the preparation, the better. Virgona, Salina Bianco You won’t find any posh tasting rooms amid the 10-square miles that comprise the entirety of the diminutive island of Salina, off the coast of Sicily, but you will find a proud people deeply connected to the land, excited to showcase what their bountiful island can produce. In a wine world where the bulk of producers are mostly concerned about their bottom line, a farm (Azienda Agricola inscribed on Virgona’s back label roughly translates to “farming business”) that operates with a kuleana toward the land is rather refreshing — and so is their wine. The ancient, aromatic grape Malvasia makes up the bulk of the Bianco (white wine), with two other indigenous grapes (Catarratto and Inzolia) usually reserved for the forgotten fortified wine Marsala, make up the remainder. It smells like a day at the beach in a glass and its saltwater bouquet reminds me of going over-the-falls at Makapuu (yes, I’m a local boy who can’t ocean). Serve with any white fish, clams, or mussels, with capers or olives and some fresh herbs. Ask about it at your fine wine retailer and thank me later. Cost: around $25 a bottle. Capichera, ‘Lintori’ Vermentino Capichera, located on the Italian island of Sardinia, is known for crafting some of the best Vermentino in the world, taking the humble and ubiquitous white grape and propelling it to nobility by selling their top-end Vermentino for a few hundred dollars per bottle. My go-to is their delicious, more approachable interpretation, called Lintori, or “morning dew,” which refers to the youngest vines in the vineyard and is deliberately the freshest style. This wine is made for salty antipasti and has an affinity with dishes from both the land and sea, reflecting the local diet in Sardinia, where octopus and pork are staples. Find it at your nearest fine wine retailer (around $25 per bottle) or you can order a glass at Brick Fire Tavern in Kaimuki. Chris Ramelb is an award-winning sommelier, and director of education and restaurant sales manager of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. Watch him on the “Wine & …” podcast, and follow him on Instagram (@masterisksomm). Previous Story Pinkies up, it's time for tea Next Story Say 'La Vie'