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Wine of the Week

Flipflop's Fun Summer Wine

What a perfect image for a wine for summer wine—and what a perfect wine for summer. With its hip name and retro summer-of-love graphics, replete with flowers and obligatory peace signs, I can already feel the sand between my toes and smell the sunscreen of languid days on the dunes at Wellfleet.

Well, that was a long time ago, but it just shows what an inspired marketing job the folks at Livermore (Calif.) wine distributors Underdog Winemerchants have done in the positioning of this Wine of the Week, the flipflop Pinot Grigio ($7), as a fun summer wine. And please note the informality of the lowercase "f" at the beginning of the name, just in case you missed the point that this is most definitely not a dinner party beverage.

But what really surprises me is that a bottle with such hokey, youth-orientated imagery contains a wine that manages to appeal to someone whose own youth is barely a memory now.

Flipflop just shouts out "summer" and "fun," and as such it’s the perfect wine for … well, a barbecue on the beach, or a relaxed lunch by the pool, or any situation where flip-flops represent appropriate footwear. The wine is light and fresh, with a good sense of fruit and a full mouthfeel, thanks to a touch of sweetness that’s kept honest by the fine, crisp acidity on the finish.

As an added incentive to try the Pinot Grigio, and flipflop’s six other varietals, flipflop wines is donating one pair of said shoes to Soles4Souls, a charity in Nashville that has so far donated a quarter of a million shoes to victims of natural disasters in the U.S. and around the world.

To find this wine near you, try Wine Searcher.

When to Drink: Now

Breathing/Decanting: Not necessary

Food Pairing: Clams, lobster rolls, corn cooked on the grill

Grapes: 100% Pinot Grigio

Appellation: California

Region: California

Country: USA

Price: $7

Availability: Moderate

Web Site:

Nick Passmore is an independent wine writer and consultant based in New York. For five years he contributed a widely read monthly wine column to, in addition to which his work has appeared in such publications as Forbes, Discover, Town & Country, the Robb Report, Wine Enthusiast, Saveur, Sky, and Golf Connoisseur. He is currently artisanal editor for Four Seasons magazine and contributes a twice monthly column to He is also a judge at the annual Critics’ Challenge wine competition.

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