Summer is here, which means it’s time for picnics, terraces, whatever; we all know that the best thing about this time of year is that you get to drink during the day, out in the sun. It’s the perfect time to brush up a little bit on how to pick the right wine for the occasion. If you’re going to be tipsy outside by 16:00 in the afternoon, you might as well do it right.
Most of the rules of picking up a good summer wine are sort of commonsense. They just might not jump at you if you’re not used to (over)thinking long and hard about your wine choices.
A good starting point is to think about what kind of wine you feel like drinking on a hot, sunny day. We’re willing to bet that the first thing popping in to your head isn’t a deep, full-bodied Cabernet Savignon.
Instead, you’re better off plumping for something more refreshing and thirst quenching; even better, something that can maybe be served chilled. That’s a big reason why when thinking of wine in the sunshine, it’s probably crisp, zippy whites and rosés that come to mind first.
These are wines that are sweet, usually with lower alcohol contents that manage to be something to drink to refresh yourself as well as to appreciate. Another important factor is that they happen to pair well with the light foods that you’d associate with summer as well. You aren’t going to be craving red meats or hearty stews that pair best with a heady, robust red on a sweaty summer day.
You’re much likelier to fancy a salad, a sandwich, fish or white meat. This is something to think about when you’re picking just which wine you want, as not all are going to be quite as well suited. As a rule of thumb, it’s the fruitier the better, and if you’re going with white something acidic will generally be a good look.
This isn’t to say that red is a no-go zone as soon as the sun comes out though. If you really are a red person, just try to go for something on the lighter end of the spectrum, low on tannins that can overpower the palate in heat, low in alcohol content and with a light body. Basically, if it seems like the kind of red that could reasonably be served chilled, (sacrilege as it might be to some), it could be a keeper for the summer.
In the end, just think a little about the wine you’re buying, and the circumstances you’ll be drinking in; figure out what you want from it and you’ll be picking up the right wine in no time.