Summer Wines: which wine to drink during the summer?
With summer around the corner, evening drinks are becoming more popular, and with these exceptional spring temperatures, everyone is dreaming of a warm and blissful summer. A prolonged quarantine period will not change a thing. Everyone will still be free to treat themselves to a drink at home to relax and enjoy the sunshine… with moderation!
The sweetness of spring, the summer’s arrival and soaring temperatures will definitely make you want to cool off with a glass of wine. However, one question remains: which type of wine?
Which wines are the ones to drink this summer? How can you find the ones that will best accompany moments of festivities and conviviality?
How should one drink and store wine this summer?
To begin with, warmth and high temperatures do not necessarily call for a specific colour of wine. You can drink wine of all colours, as long as you know how to serve them.
Indeed, a rosé can be enjoyed with a few ice cubes and usually accompanies sunny summer days spent outside. However, it is not alone. Red wines can also swing by the fridge, not for too long, so that its taste is not altered, but long enough to be fresh. This technique makes it possible to drink red wine below room temperature, especially if the heat is overwhelming. After all, summer is not the season to drink “warm wines”.
White wines can also be served chilled, similarly to rosés.
Here’s a small recommendation: during heat waves, if you drink wine, remember to drink plenty of water as well as alcohol dehydrates. You can therefore treat yourself as long as you drink water on the side and stay reasonable. Furthermore, avoid direct exposure to sunlight after drinking wine as it can easily make your head spin!
Rosé: a “must have” for any decent summer evening drink
When we mention summer, everyone naturally thinks straight ahead of pink wines! Imagine enjoying a cool glass of rosé with friends at sunset to end a hot summer day. Fine and refreshing with subtle notes of citrus fruits, the Rosé des Frangins du Domaine des Gravennes will be the perfect match to your summer evenings. Fresh and fruity, it is the ideal rosé to celebrate the arrival of sunnier and longer days.
Contrary to popular belief, not all rosés are necessarily refreshing. The sweeter they taste, as for the Cabernet d’Anjou for instance, the less thirst-quenching they are. Moreover, the darker the colour of the rosé, the stronger the taste (for the Clairet for example, or for sun-drenched Languedoc rosés.) It is then wiser to keep these wines for cooler periods rather than blazing hot temperatures.
We would therefore advise you to favour dry, fruity (but not too sweet) rosés for drinks by the pool or outdoors. To keep them cool and fresh, don’t forget to place them well in advance in the fridge and then in a bucket of ice-cold water to prevent them from heating up too quickly in the sunlight.
Of course, as with all wines, we would advise you to pair them with something to nibble on, such as cherry tomatoes, tapas or ripe olives. Prosciutto and melon also go very well with a fresh and light rosé, particularly those with a translucent colour during times of warm temperatures.
Red wine or the king of barbecues
Despite the heat, red wine should not be so easily proscribed. Red wine is often the perfect choice for barbecued meat or for an early evening drink.
However, it remains important to choose a rather light red wine, with a low tannin level. Wines from the Loire Valley (such as the Chinon, from the Jourdan & Pichard Domaine), from Burgundy (such as the red Côte de Nuits-Villages from Domaine Désertaux-Ferrand) or from Beaujolais can very well be enjoyed during the summer period. Ideally, red wines should be served at a temperature ranging between 14 and 16°C. A light red wine served at the right temperature will therefore perfectly match barbecue evenings, despite hot summer breezes. Refreshing red wine for a few minutes in the fridge will equally allow you to taste more subtle notes, and not just the alcohol it contains.
Of course, forget about full-bodied and tannic red wines (such as those from Languedoc or Bordelais), which easily go to the head in the heat and are therefore not the best fit for summer.
And for white wine lovers?
If you like white wine, it can also perfectly accompany aperitifs and dinners, especially shellfish usually enjoyed by the seaside. When it is hot, it is best advised to drink a light and dry white wine. We also advise you to forget about sweet and mellow white wines at this time, as they won’t cool you down! The ideal service temperature for a white wine is usually between 8 and 12°c, depending on its sweetness. However, most great wines should not be drunk below 10°c, in order to preserve their perfume and taste.
How about seafood platter lovers? A wine from the Loire Valley, like the Sancerre of Domaine Michel Girard at Cuvée Privée will be the perfect match and will accompany best these moments of festivity. This wine illustrates the subtle taste of the Sancerre vineyards and region’s local products. The plots from which this wine is made are entirely planted with Sauvignon Blanc grapes. This cuvée from the Domaine Michel Girard, with its floral nose and mineral palate will espouse the taste of fish, oysters or any other type of shellfish.
For lovers of the Burgundy region, famous for its Chardonnay vineyards, opt instead for a Chablis. Fresh, mineral and lively, the Chablis Saint-Pierre from the Domaine d’Henri can also be paired with seafood and grilled fish.
Corsica also abounds with very good white wines to drink in the summer.
White wines from the Alsace region will also refresh you on hot summer evenings. For instance, we would recommend a Riesling Grand Cru, from the Camille Braun Domaine in Alsace, whose nose offers fresh exotic fruit aromas, with subtle hints of lime and pineapple. Their Gewurztraminer will equally delight any white wine lover, with its fresh and exotic fruity nose.
Full and fresh in the mouth and moderately tannic, this beautifully balanced wine will be enjoyed by all this summer.
A festive occasion to uncork a high-quality bottle? Champagne and other types of sparkling wines – with refreshing bubbles – are of course also a part of the list of wines perfect to drink in summer.
Summer is therefore one of the best seasons to share a bottle of wine with friends and family, whether white, rosé, red or sparkling, depending on your preferences. We advise you to serve wine at 2°C less than the targeted temperature, as it will very quickly warm up once it is poured in a glass in hot weather. It is now up to you to choose the wine that will accompany you in these moments of relaxation, and pair them with the dishes that will best suit them and embellish their aromas!