Summer is a time spent outdoors. Whether you are camping, swimming, boating, or just hanging out in your backyard, the summer months mean lots of time in the sun, and what better way to enjoy it than with a glass of wine in your hand? Now, you may be wondering what type of wine is best in those hot summer months and the answer is relatively simple; wines that are bold in fruit flavor, low in tannins, and high in acidity will quench your thirst and have you reaching for more. We have some great recommendations for you below.
Best Red Wine for Summer
The last thing you want to drink when it is hot out is a heavy red with loads of tannins. However, if red wine is your preference, you can still enjoy it, just choose something light with a good amount of acidity.
Pro-tip, forget the old “red should always be served at room temperature” rule and pop your bottle of red in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before drinking. This will not work with full-bodied reds, but lighter reds that have more acidity and aromatics really benefit from being slightly chilled and are far more refreshing when it is hot out.
- Barbera: juicy, light, with notes of strawberry and sour cherry.
- Lambrusco: a slight bubbliness with strong berry notes.
- Grenache: floral with strong berry flavor and notes of citrus.
- Pinot Noir: always a popular choice: light, sweet red, high on aromatics.
Best White Wine for Summer
Bright and acidic whites will be your go-to when outside temperatures rise. Add some bubbles to take it up a notch.
- Albariño: Dry with high acidity and notes of lemon and grapefruit.
- Sauvignon Blanc: highly acidic, fruity, dry white with herb tones.
- Rosé: bright acidity with strong berry flavor.
- Grüner Veltliner: Light, citrus-focused flavors of lime, lemon, and grapefruit.
- Champagne: Bubbly, floral, and fruity with notes of citrus, peach, or cherry.
Pairing Wine with Summer Foods
Pairing Wine With Barbeque Food
The acidity of a Rosé provides an excellent balance to the smoky flavors of the meat and sweet barbeque sauce.
Hot dogs will always do well with a highly acidic white. Try an Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, or Riesling, or if you are feeling extra festive, have Champagne! If you prefer red, try a fruit-forward Grenache.
When pairing wine with salad, you want to consider the dressing, but a few solid, all-around wine choices would be Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Riesling.
Pairing Wine With Fruit Salad
Does it get more “summer” than a big bowl of brightly colored, fresh fruit? Fruit salad is a mixture of sweet and sour flavors. Your best bet will be a Moscato or Rosé.
A white wine with refreshing acidity, think Riesling or Grüner Veltliner, will balance the fat in most sausages and quench your thirst.
Pairing Wine With Grilled Chicken
It is generally thought that white wine always goes with chicken, but grilled chicken can handle a red, too. If you prefer white, choose a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris. Pinot Noir or Zinfandel will also pair nicely if you prefer red.
Pairing Wine With Burgers
For a juicy, grilled burger, you will want a red, but keep it light in the heat of summer. A Pinot Noir or Beaujolais chilled for 20 minutes before drinking will pair nicely with most burgers. A fizzy Lambrusco will also be pleasantly refreshing.
Pairing Wine With Potato or Pasta Salads
These salads are ubiquitous at summer cookouts and come in a variety of flavors and ingredients. A crisp, citrusy white, like Sauvignon Blanc or Grüner Veltliner, will be a great choice for most variations of these salads.
Pairing Wine With Ice Cream
Pairing wine with ice cream can be very tricky, but it is not impossible. When pairing wine with any dessert, the wine should be slightly sweeter than the dessert. You also want something with low tannins, as tannins with sweet food can leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Avoid wines with high acidity, as well, as the acid will clash with the sweetness.
Try to pair the flavor of your ice cream with the wine. Chocolate with a Lambrusco (or other light, jammy red), vanilla with a semi-sweet sparkling wine, and Rosé with strawberry, for a few suggestions.
Pairing Wine With Sorbet or Sherbet
Fruity Sorbets and Sherbet tend to do well with bright, crisp, fruity whites. Moscato, Riesling, Champagne and Rosé can all make fantastic pairings with your Sorbet or Sherbet.