Tips for Serving and Enjoying Red Wine This Summer
It may seem like a textbook fact to shelve your red wines in favor of whites as summer rolls in, but some red wines can be enjoyed even at a barbecue in the middle of July. All it takes is a little knowledge and technique to enjoy flavorful red wines year-round. Here are a few tips to maximize the potential of red wine in the summertime:
1.Avoid Full-Bodied, Dry Varieties
These are the strongest red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. Some of their characteristics are a deep, plum color, high alcohol content, and high tannin content. Tannin is a substance that is released from grape skin, seeds and stems during the wine-making process. This is what causes the feeling of “dryness” in the mouth, which certainly wouldn’t be pleasant on hot summer days. On the simple end, avoid any reds that say “dry” on the label.
2.Opt for Lighter Varieties
Unlike the stronger red wines that we want to avoid in the summer, lighter reds have a lower alcohol content, lower tannin content, more acidity, and a lighter color. Do not take “lighter” to mean less flavorful, however. Summery reds are boasting with vibrant berry flavors. With more acid and fewer amounts of tannin, these reds are more refreshing and don’t dry out the mouth. Here are some of the best summer reds:
- Pinot Noire – the most well-known red wine in the world also happens to be one of the lightest varieties on the red wine scale. Its cherry and raspberry flavors as well as its aromas of flowers and vanilla, make it perfectly suited for warm and sunny days. While it makes for versatile food-pairing, it pairs best with chicken, duck, and pork.
- Gamay – primarily from Beaujolais, France, this red has strong red berry notes and flowery aromas. It pairs well with pork as well as seafood.
- Grenache – primarily found in France and Spain, Grenache has strawberry, black cherry and raspberry flavors with soft orange and grapefruit aromas. Its peppery background notes pairs it well with dishes with spice and lots of herbs.
- Sangiovese – crossing into the savory side, this red wine is a great choice for a summer evening dinner. It makes a great wine pairing with steak, without being as heavy as a Cabernet. Its unique fruity and earthy flavor profile however, pairs it well with many foods.
3.Chill the Wine!
“Chill” and “red wine” aren’t often used in the same sentence, but chances are most of us aren’t enjoying our red wines at its best because we aren’t serving it at the right temperature. Lighter red wines do very well when chilled and make them even more pleasant and refreshing to drink during the summer. A simple tip for chilling red wine is to place it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving.
With these simple tips, you can enjoy red wine at any time of the year. So don’t shelve your reds just yet!