While a refreshing chilled glass of white is a staple in hot weather, sticking to this the whole summer probably means you’ll miss out on some marvelous food and wine pairings. In the end, a light-bodied wine that can be chilled is the new golden rule to follow when it comes to summer drinking.
Generally, wines with lots of tasty fruit are great for soaring temperatures – look out for citrus and fruits such as pears and apricots in your alcoholic beverages. Wine is also quite acidic, meaning it’s a great palette cleanser, and so a good wine will help you feel light and fresh. Plus, red wine also contains fat-reducing tannins, which can help you feel light and summer ready!
Wine is very versatile, it comes in so many forms and can therefore be paired with so many foods. Whether you pair your wine with your food, or your food with your wine, having a cupboard stocked with a variety of different types will ensure that you’re prepared for any kind of summer meal or party.
Whilst reds are most often thought as pairings with big, hearty meals, some of them make for perfect summer drinking. Heavy flavours and heavy tannins aren’t ideal for warmer weather, however a lighter, fruity red wine with a high acidity – such as pinot noir – is great for a drink in the sun. Although most people prefer their reds at room temperature, sticking it in the fridge for 15 minutes before serving can help take the edge of the summer heat.
Red meat and red wine are a classic food and drink combination, so these lighter reds pair perfectly with barbeque foods! Whilst shiraz is not so very light-bodied, a sparkling shiraz will go well with white meat, and can be enjoyed well past the festive season. The heaviness of these meats are curbed by the bubbles in your drink, and the pairing is delicious.
Riesling comes in a variety of types – from dry, to acidic, to sweet – usually depending on where they’re from. This makes it easy to pair with any food despite the season. These French wines are fermented in a way that makes them really light, making it a perfectly crisp drink for day drinking in the summer. While Riesling is great on its own, it can also be mixed with light liquors such as vodka and tequila, and fruit flavours such as liqueur or fruit purée in a summer cocktail. This versatility makes it a crowd pleaser for any event!
Pair your Riesling with seafood, especially the popular summer meal of fish and chips. The high acidity in your drink will make it easier to down your greasy chips, and more citrus-based Rieslings will complement the flavour of your seafood. If seafood isn’t on the menu, Rieslings pair well with most foods, and so are perfect to keep at the ready in the pantry.
Rosé is the happy median of white wine and red wine, and is one of the most popular summer wines. Rosé shouldn’t be sickly sweet – a dry, crisp rosé should be light and refreshing. It goes down very smoothly, and quenches your thirst more than most other alcoholic drinks. Rosé wine is best served cold, meaning it’ll be a sweet relief from the harsh summer rays.
Rosé pairs well with cheese and meat platters, but most summer finger foods should accompany your drink perfectly. It also goes well with seafood. If you’re not having these though, it can be served with anything.