Summer is here and though frozen and iced cocktails may be your go-to in times of heat and sunshine, its best to not forget the alcohol that started it all: wine. Sure, wine isn’t the first drink of choice that comes to mind when wanted a cool, refreshing, summertime beverage, but don’t digress. Wine still reigns supreme as the most versatile of all alcoholic drinks. Here’s how you can enjoy the drink of the gods and partake in summertime wine.
First, go white. There’s nothing like a gorgeous sparkling wine, champagne, brut, cava, or prosecco to indulge in over summer brunch or at an outdoor barbeque. And those are just the ones with bubbles. Sauvignon Blanc is a mid-range white wine that has hints of dryness and sweetness and is preferred over its white wine cousins for its mildness, flavor, and smoothness. Sure, there is also pinot grigio and chardonnay, which also make for delicious summer wines, but sauvie is pulls out the win for its crispness and simplicity.
Probably the most known summer wine beverage is the Spanish gift that keeps on giving: sangria. Made from red wine, chopped up fruit, and served chilled or on ice—typically from a massive beverage dispenser or pitcher—sangria is a delicious drink that has become a staple during the summer. Garnacha is a Spanish wine with lower tannins, low acidity, and is often used in sangria because it blends well with the fruit. Tempranillo is another wine from Spain that already has notes of berries and dark fruit that also mixes well. Pinot noir, with its subtle, smooth flavor is a good runner up when the aforementioned wines are not available.
When it comes to a formal dinner under the late-setting summer sun, think cool and refreshing with a dab of elegance. A strong standard would be a gorgeous champagne or a sweet riesling. These both make for excellent dinnertime wines under the setting sun. If serving beef or if red vino is more your flavor, opt for a wine cellar-chilled merlot or malbec. These two are lighter in flavor and have fruit infusion finishes that are simply divine at dinner. A good rose, sparkling or not, can go a long way in providing a bit of elegance to your supper.
Partaking solo? Try a red or white zinfandel. Both are great wines that tend to last longer after the cork is popped. So, if you’re down to down the entire bottle by yourself or looking for a few simple glasses at home, zin is a great wine to keep in your house for times of unwinding to a great Netflix show or movie alone or with a special someone. White zin is more refreshing in the heat, but red zinfandel is fuller bodied, but not too heavy for summer enjoyment.
The best part about wine? It’s versatility. Wine isn’t always about buying the cheapest or most expensive bottle. Buy the kind of wine that is suitable for the occasion and purpose. Boxed wines have come a long way. Screw caps are in and so are wines from biodegradable cartons. The best part of summertime is any wine is fine. If you want something simple like a shiraz or something fuller like a German gewürztraminer, there is a variety of wine waiting for you to indulge in. Summertime means kicking back and enjoying the best parts of life. Why not kick the enjoyment up a notch with a glass of distilled grape juice?