Just because it's hot outside doesn't mean it's time to stop drinking full-bodied red wines. Here's a trick to make them shine even in summer's heat.
Here in temperate Seattle, it's rarely freezing cold, and hardly ever boiling hot. If you want a climate built for drinking red wine, Seattle's is the one. In fact, with the average temperature in the 50s, it's a little like living in a wine cellar. And for much of the year, red wines served at room temp are at their "perfect" temperature (low 60s). Yes, if you love red wines, Seattle's a great spot for sipping.
Still, just about every summer there's a spike -- a few days when the temps tick up into the ugh zone. The layers of clothing come off. The oscillating fans emerge from storage. And the impossible happens: red wines suddenly seem unappealing.
A Simple Trick
But there's a way out. Some red wines, of course, can be served chilled. Beaujolais, for example. Serve light-bodied Beaujolais chilly, almost like a rosé, alongside a grilled burger -- and it's a fantastic match. But even fall and winter-friendly reds -- the bigger, bolder reds -- Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Zinfandel, blends from Bordeaux and the Rhone, for example -- they can all be transformed into summer-friendly wines.
Just stick 'em in the fridge for about 20 minutes or so before dinner. On a hot day, you'll enjoy them so much more when served cool (but not cold) -- say, around 60 to 65 degrees F. It's basically the same temp at which you'd be enjoying them the rest of the year at room temperature. But in the summer swelter, with the ambient temperature elevated, you'll really feel the difference in temperature. The reds will come across as refreshing. But they won't be so cool that flavors are dulled. Give it a try!
And if chilling reds doesn't quite do it for you, go rosé! For people who love reds, rosé is the ultimate compromise wine for summer dining. They're made with red grapes and are meant to be enjoyed nice and chilly.
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