You’ve probably run through your share of frozen drinks, alcoholic seltzers and proseccos by this point in the summer, so it’s as good a time as any to switch up your beverage of choice. National Red Wine Day is coming up on Aug. 28, so we wondered: What are some refreshing reds to enjoy in the summer heat?
“As a sommelier, I get this question quite a bit from guests that prefer reds all year round or simply are not fans of white wines,” said Jonella Orozco, co-founder of Mantra Wine Distributors. “I look for reds with a lighter body and higher acidity so that the palate remains ‘quenched,’ so to speak.”
“French gamay, namely Beaujolais, is a great option. I prefer these because their fruitiness just shines when they are slightly chilled and they just seem more adequate when drunk in the S.C. heat.”
Bottles Beverage Superstore has just the wine, available by the case at its Mount Pleasant store (610 Coleman Blvd.).
Lapierre raisin Gaulois 2018, Beaujolais, France, $16.99 – “From arguably the greatest producer in Beaujolais, this organic gamay noir is the winery’s second label that crushes with soft red berries notes and plush, lush texture,” said Bottles wine director Mike van Beyrer.
Looking for an affordable wine to sip on the patio, pool or boat?
Sella & Mosca cannonau 2017, Italy, $19.99 – “From the isle of Sardinia, cannonau is the island’s version of grenache. Soft and spicy with bright red fruit notes makes this a guzzler on the porch,” van Beyrer told us.
Monarch Wine Merchants (1107 King St.) owner Justin Coleman also sells several bottles he said fit into the “summer red” category. Here are two:
Indigeno, Vino rosso, Abruzzo, Italy NV $27.99 – “A red wine from Abruzzo, Central Italy, made from 100 percent Montepulciano,” Coleman said. “Spontaneous fermentation in open vats and skin contact for one day. Tart black berries and raspberries mingle with pepper and dried herbs. Light, crisp and refreshing on the palate with a great earthy finish. Our go-to pizza wine.”
Macatho ‘Segundo Flores’ Valle del Maule, Chile 2017 $29.99 – “Made from three tiny parcels of 150-year-old país grown in the Maule Valley on granite clay soils. A grape brought to the Americas by Spanish missionaries to be used for sacrament wine. Super light and bright with tart strawberry, raspberry and a ton of spice: cardamom, mace, pepper. A perfect wine for grilled meats,” Coleman said.
Stems & Skins (1070 East Montague Ave.) co-owner Matt Tunstall knows you don’t want to drink the same red wine in August that you would in December.
“The key to drinking red wines in the summer time is to stay light and refreshing. Choose grape varieties that are higher in acidity and thin-skinned. Also, wines fermented by carbonic maceration can give you wines very light on their feet too. That’s gonna give you what you need for refreshment.”
Here are Tunstall’s picks for fun, hot weather reds from his Park Circle wine bar.
2019 Iruai “Shasta-Cascade” red, Calif., $27 – “Tangy, high-toned dark fruit, and it drinks like adult Kool-Aid.”
2017 Robert Chevillon Bourgogne passetoutgrain, Burgundy, France, $31 – “A more serious wine, and a good way to get into Burgundy without the price tag. Passetoutgrain is always a blend of gamay and pinot noir.”
Graft Wine Shop (700 King St.) co-owner Femi Oyediran has a rosé — he said that’s technically in the red wine family — that he suggests for this time of year.
2019 Lamoresca rosato, Italy, $36 – “Lamoresca’s rosato — yup, a rosé — has been one of my favorite things to drink this summer. It’s a blend of Nero d’Avola and frappato from Sicily. For notes, think pomegranate, sour watermelon, cherry and hints of peach. The texture and acid here is just perfect for warm weather. While it is labeled as a rosato, it’s certainly dark enough to warrant glares from some lighter reds on our shelves.”