August 19, 2021
For wine drinkers, winter tends to be the season of robust reds, ports, and full-bodied vintages. In the summer heat, those wines become less appealing in favour of something lighter and fruitier. While white wines are an easy choice for the hottest part of the year, it would be a shame to ignore the lighter-bodied reds and Rosés. More acidic, fruitier reds can be served lightly chilled, which is a big plus when the temperature begins to climb.
Lambrusco has many varieties within its family, with a range of characteristics, but Lambrusco drinkers enjoy its bright, berry fragrance, which evokes memories of a freshly picked strawberry, along with its gentle bubbles and refreshing acidity Lambruscos are meant to be served chilled.
Lambrusco, like the popular Riunite Lambrusco pairs well with foods from its home region, so foods from Bologna, and Parma will be great with this wine. In particular, Parmesan cheeses and hams, foods with notes of balsamic vinegar. It would be perfect with a charcuterie board on a summer afternoon. Its strong berry aroma also makes it a great pairing with a summer salad.
Beaujolais is a French wine from the region just south of Burgundy. Like Lambrusco, it’s a higher acidity wine and Beaujolais’s rich, tart aroma conjures the flavours of fruits that share its crimson hues, like cranberries, raspberries, and luscious summer cherries.”
Wines in this family often have Gamay variety grapes at the forefront.
Beaujolais are known for having tropical fruit or sweeter aromas due to their grapes being fermented in a carbon-dioxide rich environment. It’s best served slightly chilled, just under room temperature.
Right now we’re drinking Bouchard Aine Beaujolais, a light-bodied red that will pair well with white meats like BBQ chicken. Its hints of earthy mushroom make it an excellent choice for a risotto or mushroom-based dish or even a paella. Of course, this wine is also a fun, light-hearted wine made for summer days on the deck or for that late afternoon meal.
Grenache (translated to Garnacha in Spain) grapes are naturally sweet, with raspberry, cherry, and strawberry notes. Spanish varieties are also known for their hints of grapefruit, and even liquorice flavour. They blend very well with other grapes to create exciting combinations. This grape is the main variety in Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Grenache is best served slightly chilled, as it has a higher alcohol content due to its hot growing environment. It’s a dry, medium-bodied wine that pairs well with heartier summer fare like tacos, steaks, and burgers. Grenache is a versatile wine for pairings, and you’ll have no trouble serving with many summer dishes. If you need a recommendation, Castillo de Monseran Garnacha is our pick this month.
While the Pinot Grigio is enjoying a healthy bout of popularity, Pinot Noir, grown in the Burgundy region of France, and a primary ingredient in Champagne, hasn’t reached those heights. It’s known for being difficult to grow, but the effort is worth it. Pinot Noir is a light-to-medium-bodied wine known for its fruity notes and it’s definitely a go-to for summer red wine drinkers.
Pinot Noir is also an excellent grape for making a Rose, adding some acidity and notes of strawberry, watermelon, and pomegranate. Like Grenache, it’s a wine that’s easily paired with a variety of foods. Pinot Noir is best served slightly chilled.
The more fruit-forward Pinot Noirs, like new world California option Mark West Pinot Noir, are perfect with seafood; serve it with a shrimp cocktail or a scallop-centric dish. It also works very nicely with vegetarian dishes; it will be a hit alongside your crudités or a fresh grilled eggplant.
With a wide variety of wines and vintages to choose from, finding a light summer red that can be lightly chilled and served with a wide variety of patio meals is super easy. We hope this list has inspired you to try out some new paring and dazzle your guests by serving something unexpected and unique.
Head to your local Co-op Wine Spirits Beer store to pick up these bottles of find more inspiration.
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