Arts and Entertainment

The art of porch sipping and the Kitsap Wine Festival

Summertime wines — chilled, but not too cold. - File Photo
Summertime wines — chilled, but not too cold.
— image credit: File Photo

Looking into the perfect temperature for summertime wines, with a look forward to the inaugural Kitsap Wine Festival, Aug. 23.

As the mercury rises near the point of insanity for Northwesterners, it's rather tempting to take that bottle of white wine straight from the fridge to the glass.

But that could be a mistake for your palate according to local wine guy Jeff Benson, owner of Poulsbo’s Olympic Wine Shop.

“If it’s too cold, it pulls all the fruit away and it basically disappears,” Benson said.

But there’s a fine line, he adds. Conversely, if the wine is too warm, its temperature can bring out all the alcohol, leaving that almost medicinal burn in your mouth.

Red wine, Benson notes should be consumed around 65 degrees, while white wines are better around 55 degrees.

“Don’t drink your white wines right out of the refrigerator,” Benson said. “Take it out 20 minutes before you drink it, and what happens is it just blossoms. As it warms up, you get all these different flavors. I don’t exactly know why that is, but that’s what happens.”

With the summertime shift to drier, white wines, Benson said he’s been recommending a good deal of rosé, riesling and chardonnay of late.

Here's the list of porch wines and summertime sippers that was perused at the last meeting of the Kitsap Wine Society, last month at Monica's Waterfront Bakery:

• Trevisiol ‘Rosecco,’ 2008

• Lagar do Castelo Albariňo, 2007

• Forte Canto Negroamaro Rosato, 2007

• Marchetti Later Harvest Verdicchio, 2008

• Rigoloccio Rosato Maremma, 2008

• Poderi Elia Moscato d’Asti, 2008

The next KWS meeting Aug. 23, will take on “The Art of Fresco Dining” in a garden off of Mountain View Drive in Silverdale. Tickets are $22 for members, $32 for guests. Register by Aug. 18. More info at

Also on Aug. 23, Bremerton Harborside will hosts Kitsap's inaugural Wine Festival from 2-6 p.m. — bringing 20-some Northwest wineries to the Bremerton waterfront, matching with cuisine provided by chefs from the Kitsap Conference Center and Anthony's at Sinclair Inlet. Tickets are $45 and the event benefits Harrison Hospital. More info at

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