7 Great Summer Wines Under $20

By Emily Nelson

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Vertikal Reisling

2007 Vertikal Piesporter Michelsberg Spatlese ($9.99), Mosel, Germany

The only difficulty with this light and food-friendly Riesling lies in its title, and that is not much -- Spatlese simply means "late harvest" and Pradikatswein shows that it meets German government regulations for sale as a quality wine (that is, it's better than table wine). Otherwise there is nothing to dislike and a lot to love about this wine: Its light alcohol content (8.5 percent) and slate-dry finish showing ripe apricots and luscious peaches make it a perfect partner for sweet-and-sour Asian dishes and many fried or baked fish courses. Served lightly chilled with simple finger foods, it would also make a fine aperitif indoors and out. And at $10 a bottle, you won't have to visit the bank to take out a loan to pick up a bottle or two. This Piesporter is the one to choose when you'd like to relax with friends for a long afternoon or evening of quiet quaffability. Cool down with a glass while eating Asian-Spiced Grilled Chicken at your next BBQ. Auf wiedersehen!
-- Tom Claire

Asian-Spiced Grilled Chicken

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