WHAT: Monte Vicario Soave Classico 2010 (white)
WHERE: Veneto, Italy
WHY: The sight of a chilled glass of wine, all foggy with condensation, is one of summer's culinary beacons. It refreshes, goes with all that fresh produce and makes you happy. But after that cold glass starts to warm up, crap white wine really tastes bad. So pour this smooth, cleansing, non-crap Soave. Floral, apple and peach notes and easy drinking balance will have you made in the shade. Maybe worth it just for the label.
PRICE: 750 ml/$13.95
AVAILABILITY: At selected Vintages outlets (Product #282087)
WHAT: The Mint Julep
WHERE: Better homes and gardens
WHY: Muddling, dissolving and ice crushing means this is no simple summer shake and slake, but the results are transformative. Look up a few versions of this classic bourbon and mint cocktail and go to town. Regardless of the recipe, you can elevate your Southern sipping with a silver-plated julep cup from BYOB ($25, 972 Queen West). The metallic surface facilitates the stylistically correct frosting (see photo). Further julep enhancement is obtained with Jim Beam Devil's Cut bourbon $32.95 LCBO #272161). Its 45 per cent alcohol, deep woody flavour and unflinching burn will withstand the julep's icy meltdown.
WHAT: Bitburger Lager Rating: NNN
WHERE: Bitburg, Germany
WHY: Summer beering is a little more cover than book. We're talking containers here, as in cans. Cans get cold fast, they weigh less in backpacks and, most importantly, they don't shatter into barefoot-lacerating shards when you drop them on a lakeside rock. Bitburger offers up all the medium-bodied, delicately hopped pleasures of Euro-sipping. Yes, we can.
PRICE: 500 ml/$2.25
AVAILABILITY: At the LCBO and the Beer Store