In California, we’re in the upper 90s again this weekend. I’m hoping and praying that the HOT weather doesn’t encourage the fires any more than they’re already encouraged. I’m also hoping and praying that the HOT weather doesn’t encourage people to gather in big groups that could end up being super-spreader events. On a more positive note, I’m hoping that the HOT weather encourages people to be adventurous with HOT-weather wines.
Why Can’t You Drink Cabernet When It’s 100° Outside?
Very sadly for us big bad red wine lovers, muscular Cabernets, rich Zinfandels and smoky Syrahs feel overwhelmingly heavy when the weather is sweltering. Full-bodied, high alcohol options will make your palate weary and leave you more lackluster than refreshed.
What Reds Do You Recommend for HOT Days?
The good news is that there are plenty of reds to choose from. The key is to look for fruit-forward, low-tannin wines that are lighter body and have less alcohol. The reds I would recommend are:
- Pinot Noir: known for lighter tannins and fruity taste
- Barbera: less oaky and earthy than Pinot Noir and very food friendly
- Valpolicella: a chillable young Italian red blend
- Frappato: another chillable fun Italian wine that that goes well with BBQ dishes
- Gammay: lighter bodied, fruity and very quaffable
Is There Something Better than These Reds?
I hate to say it, but yes. Summer really calls for whites and rosés. If you only drink reds, I would encourage you to give these whites a try. Why do I like them so much? They’re incredibly refreshing, and they’re simple. When it’s HOT out, you don’t want anything complicated. You just need something enjoyable that cools you off.
- Albarino: Amazing, especially from Artesa Winery in Napa
- Sauvignon Blanc: adult lemonade!
- Pinot Grigio: crisp and refreshing; according to FoodandWine, the fifth-largest-selling wine in America
- Dry Riesling: the perfect balance of sweet and crispy
Is There a Third Option?
Of course. If you can’t decide between white and red, you can always opt for a delectable dry rosé. Why have I emphasized dry when talking about rosé and Riesling? Because a sweet wine isn’t nearly as refreshing.
I hope I’ve given you some yummy options for these HOT summer days. Cheers to staying cool and enjoying some great wines.
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