Friends, we are entering into the dog days of summer. Days of still air – moist and humid – the kind of air that does not move. Days of shirts sticking to your back, of sweat beading around your brow. These are the nights that seldom cool down and of infrequent breezes. Yes, friends, it’s summer. Hot, dry and sometimes humid summer days and nights. The silver lining? It’s also the days of barbeques, parties and twilight cocktail parties. Here is my dilemma during such parties on warm summer days: I like red wines but it’s just too darn hot to drink them. When it is sweltering, do I want a room temperature glass of Cab? Nope. I want cold, icy goodness. Since no one seems to serve dry roses at parties (which is what I’d totally go for on such occasions), I usually opt for whatever white wine is on hand. Good? Yes, sure, but if only there was a red I could drink…one that tasted good ice cold…
Goes against everything you believe in when it comes to wine, right? Weren’t we all taught to “chill your white wines and serve your reds at room temp?”
Well, you know by now how we feel about wine “rules.” They have their time and place but overall they are meant to be broken. Enter: Beverino, Vernaccia Nera and Late Harvest – three red wines that taste great cold. True, they are on the sweeter end of the wine scale, but, hey, you know what else is sweet? Lemonade. Summer’s most famous and thirst-quenching beverage. Just saying. Beverino, Vernaccia Nera and Late Harvest are not so much sugary as they are very fruit-forward.
Beverino means “easy to drink” in Italian. A special selection of varietals is used to make this very special wine, and when served chilled, the most amazing and refreshing flavors of raspberry, boysenberry and cranberry shine through. (Easy to gulp down…be careful).
Vernaccia Nera comes complete with an extra layer of refreshment – bubbles! Yes, our one and only sparkling red wine is designed to be chilled. Expect unforgettable flavors of black cherry, plum and cinnamon.
Late Harvest is one of the most versatile wines we carry. It is so satisfying sipped by a roaring fire in the middle of winter, yet, when it is chilled, it becomes our little summer secret. Wonderful blueberry and vanilla flavors highlight Late Harvest.
Not every red wine benefits from a drop in temperature. When a wine is chilled it becomes less aromatic and tannins are brought to the surface. A dry red wine that is too cold could taste unpleasantly tannic. We recommend saving your big reds for a cooler day or a special dinner in an air conditioned room. But, by all means, experiment with your reds that are lighter in body. Tempranillo is an excellent candidate; pop it in the fridge for about 30-45 minutes and give it a try.
–Do your wine tastes change in the summer? Tell us about it!