Everything you need to know about drinking red wine this summer
When you think of summer drinks it’s usually an ice-cold beer or a refreshing glass of white or Rosé wine that comes to mind, not a glass of red.
However, we believe that red wine should be drunk year-round and not only when the weather gets cool – you just need to know how best to serve it!
It’s a balancing act
Did you know that red wine is best served between 15°C and 18°C?
As you can imagine, in summer room temperature normally far exceeds this range, which means that unless you have a temperature-controlled wine cellar or the air-conditioning on full blast, during the warmer months it can be hard to keep red wine at the correct drinking temperature.
What happens if my red wine is too warm or cold?
The problem with drinking red wine when it’s too warm is that the alcohol takes over and overpowers the wine’s aromas and flavours. Basically, as Campbell Mattinson of the Halliday Wine Companion said: “more fume than perfume. To put it bluntly, good red wine served too warm tastes gross.”
Conversely, there is also an issue when red wine is drunk too cold – the oak and tannin in the wine appear more harsh if the wine is overchilled.
Top tips for serving red wine in summer
Picture this: it’s a balmy summer evening, the sun is setting, your barbecue is firing, the steaks are sizzling and you’re reaching for your favourite bottle of red to pair with your meal. Sound familiar? Me too.
Although it might seem odd at first, putting your bottle of red wine in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes before drinking is a really good practice to get into. During summer, cooling down your red wine really is cool.
Before pouring, touch the side of the wine bottle. The wine should feel cool to the touch, but not cold.
What should you be drinking?
While there is no fast rule for summer drinking, some red wines do suit the warmer weather better than others. Instead of choosing a heavily oaked, high tannin red it can be helpful to look for lighter bodied reds with a more fresh, juicy and aromatic profile.
We recommend trying a Pinot Noir or cool-climate Shiraz and alternative varietals like the Spanish-native Tempranillo or Italian-born Nebbiolo are fast favourites on staff rotation over the summer months.
See what we are drinking below!
Smithbrook 2018 Single Vineyard Nebbiolo
"Hand-picked, crushed and destemmed into a small open fermenter, 4 weeks on skins. Special care to manage tannin extraction and promote fruit retention was an unqualified success. It's not full-bodied, but the flavours and wild forest fruits and red cherries come through well. And the price!"
- 94 points, James Halliday, Halliday Wine Companion 2021
Strelley Farm Estate 2020 Pinot Noir
An elegant, cool-climate Tasmanian Pinot Noir, crafted from a blend of 65% East Coast and 35% Coal River Valley fruit. This wine was matured for 10 months in new (20%) and seasoned French oak.
Bright, juicy and perfumed red berry fruits mingle on the palate alongside dark cherry and subtle oak spice. The perfect accompaniment to salmon, chicken or a homemade burger.
Millbrook Winery 2020 Regional Tempranillo
"You want a ready to drink, thoroughly gluggable tempranillo? Well, here’s your pick. Plush, generous and fruit driven displaying cherry and plum flavours and a dollop of chocolate richness. A little spicy influence and a dry savour slightly dusty finish. Nice wine for the short term."
- 91 points, Ray Jordan Wine Guide 2023
Dalwhinnie 2019 Mesa Shiraz
"Spicy, peppery, fresh earth and red fruit aromas of some complexity, especially considering its youth. The wine is medium to full-bodied and soft-textured, with no shortage of tannin, but the texture is supple and drying, the fine-grained powdery tannins augmenting the savoury flavours. There is abundant fruit within but the overall style is savoury, food friendly and very stylish. Very long aftertaste. Great value."
- 94 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review 2022
Shop all red wine here.