In hot weather, many wine drinkers turn to lighter white wines, served refreshingly cold. For those who prefer reds to whites, there is no need to despair. While putting away the highly tannic cabs and heavier wines with higher alcoholic content, red aficionados can pull out lighter, fruitier and less alcoholic reds.
Some pinot noirs make wonderful summer drinking wines. In general, qualities to look for include depth of color. Hold the bottle up to the light. If the wine looks clear, that is a good sign. If the pinot noir is dark and opaque, save that wine for winter. A low alcoholic content makes for a better summer wine; high alcohol wines will get people drunk faster in hot weather due to sweating and dehydration. Look for pinots with an alcoholic content below 15 percent. Lastly, when looking for a good summer pinot noir, avoid the expensive ones with complicated descriptions. Simple, light and fruity pinot noirs make nice summer drinking.
Most Beaujolais are light and fruity, making them great summer wines. These wines are known for tasting like fresh fruit and do not have heavier, more complex flavors such as coffee or spices that do nicely in the winter. Beaujolais are great wines to drink at a BBQ with either meat, chicken or grilled salmon. Beaujolais is one red wine that can be served chilled, which makes it perfect for summer drinking.
Red wine drinkers should seriously consider a good, dry rose for summertime drinking. Many think of a simple and sweet white zinfandel when they hear “rose,” but a good rose will be dry, interesting and served nicely chilled. Red wine drinkers should look for dark pink roses that are described as full-bodied with fresh fruit flavors and dry.