Enjoying a refreshing glass of wine on a hot Malaga summer day is something many wine enthusiasts look forward to. While we love a good red wine as much as the next person, some red blends conjure images of a night in and are better suited for cold nights by the fire. When the summer temperature spikes, a lighter, more refreshing wine may be just what you need to cool down. Having said that, warm weather need not frustrate red wine drinkers.
Warmth and high temperatures do not necessarily call for a specific colour of wine. You can drink wine of all colours, as long as you know how to serve them.
Lighter bodied wines are easier on the palate and much more refreshing than big, bold full-bodied wines. But do not be fooled by the term ‘light’—these drops still pack a punch! Also bear in mind that powerful tannic wines can be too much for the palate during the summer. You will often find that lighter wines have less tannins. For their part, unoaked or very lightly oaked reds are generally lighter, fruitier and much more refreshing on these warm summer days and will keep you cool all summer long.
Here are a few tips to enhance the experience and get the most out of your favourite bottle of wine.
To Chill Or Not To Chill? That Is The Question
A rosé can be enjoyed with a few ice cubes and usually accompanies sunny summer days spent outside. However, contrary to popular belief, not all rosés are necessarily refreshing—the sweeter they taste, the less thirst-quenching they are. We would advise you to favour dry, fruity (but not too sweet) rosés for drinks by the pool or outdoors. To keep them cool and fresh, do not forget to place them well in advance in the fridge and then in a bucket of ice-cold water to prevent them from heating up too quickly in the sunlight.
White wines can also be served chilled, similarly to rosés. It is best advised to drink a light and dry white wine—forget about sweet and mellow white wines at this time, as they will not cool you down! The ideal service temperature for a white wine is usually between 8 and 12 °C, depending on its sweetness. However, most great wines should not be drunk below 10 °C, in order to preserve their perfume and taste.
We have always been told that reds are best at room temperature – but does that apply to the warmth of a Malaga summer? The short answer is no. The best red wines to chill are naturally light in body, low in tannins, and are fruity. Chilling reds like these brings out their liveliness and minimises the perception of alcohol. Ideally you would serve a lighter-style, summer red at a temperature ranging between 14 and 16 °C—but note that heavier reds will not taste good chilled. Chilling full-bodied, high tannin, high alcohol reds will make them taste astringent and metallic; and savoury wines that have lots of leathery, earthy, or spicy flavours will not drink well when chilled. A light red wine served at the right temperature will therefore perfectly match barbecue evenings, despite hot summer breezes. Pop your bottle of red wine in the refrigerator for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving. You will be amazed at how much more bright and refreshing it will taste.
Find That Wine That Will Best Accompany Moments Of Festivities And Conviviality
When temperatures are rising, opt for fresher and younger wines, which can be served colder than usual. Also remember to pair with summer foods. Finding the perfect foods to pair with your favourite summer wines is essential to enhancing the entire experience.
If you are grilling steak, a strong choice will complement your main course—after all, red wine is often the perfect choice for barbecued meat or for an early evening drink. For their part, lighter bodied wines pair well with grilled summer vegetables like corn on the cob and sweet bell peppers, as well as different types of fish. For seafood platter lovers, white wine will espouse the taste of grilled fish, oysters or any other type of shellfish usually enjoyed by the seaside, and can perfectly accompany aperitifs and seafood dinners. We would advise you to pair rosés with something to nibble on, such as cherry tomatoes, tapas or ripe olives. Prosciutto and melon also go very well with a fresh and light rosé.
A festive occasion to uncork a high-quality bottle? Sparkling wines are of course also a part of the list of wines perfect to drink in summer. The innate refreshing bubbles of sparkling wines offer an added layer of pairing versatility. These wines have the perfect balance of dryness, bubbles, and fruity cream to enrich any dining experience. They pair perfectly with triple cream cheese, shrimp and shellfish, smoked salmon, caviar, and fruit-based desserts such as tarts, crepes, and any buttered or honeyed dessert.
Drink More … Water, That Is
Watch out for high alcohol wines as they become heavier and as a result feel fuller in the mouth. In summer it is best to choose a wine with a lower alcoholic strength, since a high alcohol content favours dehydration. It is always important to stay hydrated while drinking alcohol any time of year, but especially during the summer. High temperatures can make it easy to become dehydrated, so be sure to drink plenty of water in between. Furthermore, avoid direct exposure to sunlight after drinking wine as it can easily make your head spin!
It is now up to you to choose the wine that will accompany you in these moments of relaxation, and pair them with the dishes that will best suit them and embellish their aromas … Cheers!