the heat and humidity some of us still like to drink red wine throughout the
summer. Read on for some useful tips on choosing and serving the perfect
refreshing summer red wines.
How To Serve Red Wine in the Summer
One of the most important aspects of any wine is refreshment. This is especially important as the mercury rises, when many red wines can taste overly powerful, rich and heavy. Over the years I have developed a short set of guidelines, which I adhere to over the summer months to best enjoy red wine.
it – This is probably one of the most important guidelines. Pop your bottle of
red wine in the refrigerator for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving. You will
be amazed at how much more bright and refreshing it will taste.
or very lightly oaked – Choose unoaked or very lightly oaked reds. They are
generally lighter, fruitier and much more refreshing on these warm summer days.
alcohol – Watch out for high alcohol wines. Alcohol can affect you more in hot
weather. Try to choose wines of 13% and below
- Light to medium body – Lighter bodied wines are easier on the palate and much more
refreshing than big, full-bodied extracted wines.
to medium tannin – Powerful tannic wines can be too much for the palate during
Great Red Wines for Summertime
So, what are some of the wines that fit into the set of guidelines? Some of my favorite go-to summer reds are:
– From the Veneto region in Northern Italy. Forget Ripasso or Amarone styles. Instead
opt for the simple (and great value) Valpolicello normale.
- Beaujolais or other wines made from the Gamay grape
Franc – especially from the cooler Loire Valley Chinon or Bourgueil appellations
Noir – While some new world Pinot Noir wines can be quite powerful, there is a
lot of simple, lighter bodied Pinot to choose from. Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Bourgogne
Rouge or village level Burgundy, Red Sancerre or the German Pinot Noir are all
or Grenache based blends from the Rhone Valley or Languedoc in France or California’s
central coast. Opt for the simple unoaked wines and watch for alcohol.
reds made from Zweigelt or St. Laurent
or Barbera wines from Italy’s Piedmont area
wines (Mencia grape) from Northwestern Spain.
- a local grape from Alto Adige in
northern Italy makes delicious light bodied reds that are just perfect for
Wine preferences can be so personal and individual so I would love to hear from you, our readers, on your favorite go-to summer red wines.