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Summer Drinking With Brad Dunn

Sommelier Brad Dunn's driving motto is "Drink what you like." Perhaps you'll like one of his suggestions for drinks to enjoy during these hot summer days.

wine in a glass

Photo: paulaloe (Flickr)

Brad Dunn enjoys dry Rieslings on hot summer days.

Wine Guys Get Updated

“The traditional image of the sommelier, with the monocle and the tastevin is long dead — I hope.”

Brad Dunn considers himself a modern version of this notoriously stuffy member of the food service industry. As the Sommelier and Beverage Director at Uptown Cafe, he’s responsible for more than just wine. He covers the entire beverage experience, from cocktails and beer to coffee.

“The modern som is really about getting people to try new things, to enjoy what they like, maybe explore a little bit,” he says.

Summer Drinks

The hot, dry conditions in Indiana this summer have been encouraging Dunn to pour himself glasses of dry Rieslings, “what I call porch pounders.”

Dr. Konstantin Frank, from the Finger Lakes, has a dry Riesling. It has lovely citrus and just a hint of minerality, and maybe hint of sugar, too. It’s really refreshing. It’s actually one of my favorite summer wines.

In the mood for something red? Dunn recommends saving the expensive bottle of Grand Vin de Bordeaux for a special occasion and instead mixing up some sangria.

I take a big, earthy Garnacha from Spain or any of your favorite reds that are under $8.00 — something affordable and something with a little bit of weight to it. Cut up some pineapple, apples, pears and whatever is nice and fresh. Throw it in there and serve it over ice. Sangria is delicious.

But when he arrives at the restaurant for work, the first thing he pours himself is not a glass of wine, but rather a beer.

One of my favorites right now is People’s Brewing Company’s Mr. Brown. I like brown ales. I’m not a huge hop fan, so I’ll tend to drink things that are more malty.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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