In honor of National Wine Day, Food & Wine Executive Wine Editor Ray Isle shares the bottles you need to know for warm-weather sipping. 


With Memorial Day Weekend just a few days away, it's time to break out the grill, pile into beach-bound cars, and enjoy a much-needed three days off. However, the holiday weekend also gives oenophiles cause to celebrate, because Saturday, May 25, is National Wine Day. (Yes, really.) It’s as good an excuse as any to dig up your favorite Syrahs and treat yourself to a glass of Champagne, or find ways to work wine into your meals for the day. (This chocolate snack cake uses a cup of Cabernet Sauvignon … just saying.) If you’re looking to branch out and find a new favorite bottle, we’ve got you covered too—in our May 2019 issue, our Executive Wine Editor, Ray Isle, recommends three bottles he’s currently got on rotation, with options for red and white fans. Check out his picks below, and keep an eye out for wine sales, too.

National Wine Day
Credit: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images

2017 Beyond Sauvignon Blanc ($12)

“For those people who want a Sauvignon Blanc that walks a finely tuned line between California fruitiness and New Zealand pepperiness, this South African version from the estate Buitenverwachting (Dutch for 'beyond expectation') should be a no-brainer—not least because of its absurdly low price,” Isle wrote.

2017 Agricola Punica Samas ($19)

“A springtime white should hit your palate with a 'ping!' and wake up your taste buds after the rich reds of winter. This Sardinian Vermentino is a perfect example: zesty, lively, and yet with a mineral backbone that adds nuance. Chill it down, now that it’s warm enough outside to actually want a chilled wine.”

2015 Corison Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($95)

“Cathy Corison is one of Napa Valley’s top winemakers, and her Cabernet—especially in the exceptional 2015 vintage—is a perfect example of the valley’s ability to achieve elegance and power, as she says it. I had her 1988 vintage at a dinner recently, and it was stunning; this should last just as long.”

For more summer recs from Ray, check out his guide to wine pairings for burgers.