The 17th annual season of Winefest Des Moines culminates June 1-8. Celebrating great grapes shouldn’t be reserved for just eight days a year, though. Which is exactly why Winefest hosts monthly events throughout the year, including February’s food and wine pairing faceoff, Iron Somm. The 2019 edition pitted last year’s winner, Kelsey Seay, associate director of the Iowa Brewers Guild and a sales associate at Best Case Wines, against Rae Doyle, manager of Park Street Kitchen at Hilton Des Moines Downtown. Doyle was voted the champion, so to prep for this season’s Winefest action, we asked her to share her top three warm-weather wine tips:
Remember red: Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a perfect red wine for a cool, summer night next to a bonfire. It’s fruity but complex, with low tannins and just enough acidity, and tastes like dark cherries, plums and pomegranates.
Try Tavel: Rosés from this French region are deep, strawberry pink, complex and often a bit tannic (an astringent quality caused by grape skins or seeds). This wine is refreshing on a hot day, yet can also hold its own alongside barbeque and medium-rare steaks.
Seek out Spain: Getariako Txakolina, a subtly effervescent and citrusy option from the Basque region of Spain, is an ultra light-bodied and bone-dry white wine with high acidity.