With apologies to George Gershwin, summer is the time living is easy and we all look for light summer wines.

Here are some of my latest summer whites and a rose’ I’ve been checking out.

Cristobal 1492 Verdelho – This wine and the Rose’ below were easily the big winners of the past week.

I had picked up a bottle of Cristobal Bonarda at Cork + Cracker in Indy and really liked it a lot. I saw this bottle of Portugal’s Verdelho grape from Mendoza in Argentina and knew I had to try it.

I loved this wine a lot. It had nice melon, foral and spicy flavors that were simply delicious. It’s not a wine to ponder and evaluate – it’s a wine to enjoy.

It picked up 90 points from one of the big wine publications and it’s not hard to see why. And for $10???? You’ve got to be kidding me!

(Cristobal 1492 Verdelho, $9.99, Grapevine Cottage, Zionsville, Highly Recommended)

Clayhouse 2010 Adobe Pink – Sometimes I wish wineries producing really great Rose’ wouldn’t call them “Pink” only because it would be easier for me to get people to try Rose’.

But Clayhouse can call this really nice pink wine any color it wishes and I’d still recommend it. I haven’t consumed much Rose yet this summer but I have several waiting in the wine racks. The Clayhouse has set the bar pretty high.

The Adobe pink gets a head start with my heart and head because it’s such an interesting blend of 38 percent Mourvedre, 32 percent Syrah, and 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Clayhouse is a Paso Robles winery that benefits from the rich flavors grapes give after a summer of hot days and cool nights.

Indeed, the wine is pink or maybe salmon is a better choice of words if you’d like a little more sophistication and avoid the “P” word. On the palate it delivered strawbertry and nice spice along with a dry finish. It was one of the most drinkable and well-made Rose’ wines I’ve had in several summers. I loved it.

(Clayhouse 2010 Adobe Pink, SGR $14, Trade Sample, Highly Recommended)

By the way, Clayhouse now has an Indiana distributor so you Hoosier wine drinkers should seek out the “Adobe” line of wines – they’re a great bang for the buck!

Cucao 2009 PX – Here is a new one for me and probably most of you. The PX in the wine’s name means Pedro Ximénez. Yes, that’s a grape kids! The grape has mostly been used for Spanish Sherry or even brandy.

For those of you looking for something different, here you go. This wine had a unique tartness on my palate. The taste was some cross between apricot, raisin, and lime, and definitely some minerality and pretty strong acid. I could see this wine with cold appetizers or maybe a salad. It is certainly on the dry side and you will notice the acid.

It’s worth a try. I really had trouble deciding whether I even liked it or not. On the first night, I didn’t care for it at all but on the second evening the acid had calmed down a bit and I found it sort of “intersting.” Definitely a wine for the adventurous.

(Cucao PX, $9.99 at Cork + Cracker, Indianapolis, No Recommendation)

Gazela Vinho Verde – Here is an Albarino wine that is definitely different than others I’ve tasted. This is almost like a sparkling wine or at least a white with effervesence some would consider nearing carbonation. I found it a little odd.

It had bright flavors of grapefruit and a nice tangy citrus flavor that lingered on the palate.

If you like a little effervesence in your wine you’re going to like this one. Serve it chilled on a hot summer day and your guests will be impressed with your adventurous spirit.

(Gazelo Vinho Verde, $7.99, Cork + Cracker, Indianapolis, Recommended)

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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