Yes, the dog days have arrived. Here are a few ways to refresh yourself in the full, hot grip of the season.
From Slovenia come two easygoing, slightly minerally whites. The 2013 Puklavec & Friends Sauvignon Blanc ($13) and the same producer's 2013 Sauvignon Blanc-Pinot Grigio blend ($11) are fairly priced and to the point. The pinot grigio has traces of citrus and tropical fruit; the blend, a hint of lemon. They're both good with salads, fried foods, warm-weather vegetables, uncomplicated chicken dishes, or as poolside sippers.
Bright and very satisfying: the 2014 Ponzi Pinot Blanc ($20), an Oregonian with traces of plum and apple, and an affinity for shellfish, mild finfish and Asian cuisine, particularly Thai and Vietnamese. Vivid, with tropical fruit and lime-grapefruit notes, the versatile 2014 Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($18) is ideal with shellfish, or on its own. Likewise, the 2014 Rodney Strong Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc ($17), a crisp match for seafood salad and the raw bar.
Ch-teau d'Esclans has been rebranded and the estate-bottled Provençal rosé is called Rock Angel. The 2013 Rock Angel ($35) is floral, dry and heady with red berries. The fruity, pretty-in-pink 2014 Le Rosé de Mouton Cadet ($11) brings a modest Bordeaux to the party.
And bubbles definitely will perk you up, especially in the nonvintage Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut ($75), a fresh and subtle sparkler with citrus notes, fine acidity and no added sugar. It's excellent as an aperitif and the right company for lighter seafood dishes.