As we slide into August, the drive to leave the comfort of our air-conditioned homes to venture out into the Mid-state’s summer humidity usually wanes. But there are plenty of baseball games left to see, backyard barbecues to be had and sunny days to spend parked poolside.
The summertime drink of choice always seems to be a tasteless light beer. But what if we told you a tall glass of wine can taste just as refreshing in this heat? Here are a few of our favorite tips for drinking reds and whites in the summer months!
Red, Red Wine
Normally, we love a good, full-bodied red. It perfectly complements a hearty pasta dish or a thick, juicy steak. But the heavy, oaky flavor can be a bit much for a 90-degree day.
The trick to drinking reds in the summer is to find one that goes down easy. Wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon are high in tannins and are usually on the drier side. But other reds, such as Barbera and Pinot Noir, have lower tannin levels and perfectly fit the bill for summertime imbibing.
We offer a number of bright, juicy reds by the glass that will quench your thirst in the warmer months with notes of pomegranate, plum, dried cherry and even strawberry! A Bricco crowd favorite for this time of year is the 2011 Tangley Oaks’ Pinot Noir.
What About Whites?
White wine generally falls into one of three camps: crisp, soft or rich. Rich whites have notes of vanilla, toast, oak and butter, and might not be your first choice for warmer weather. But crisp whites, which are high in acidity, and fruity soft whites, can be quite refreshing this time of year. And, as an added bonus, your white wine will probably come chilled.
Keep an eye out for Pinot Grigios, Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings if you’re looking for something to cool you down. At just $13 a glass, our Matanzas Creek Winery Sauvignon Blanc is a popular choice for those looking for the perfect pairing to a tangy dish. And a bottle of Willamette Valley’s Pino Grigio is always a great choice for those sampling our summer seafood dinners.
Once thought to be a cardinal sin, many are starting to come around to the idea of chilled red wine. Experts recommend serving reds between 50 and 65 degrees, but some are even going colder.
Again, you’ll want to look for something with a lower tannin level — and stay away from dry, heavy reds. We also recommend not squeezing an expensive bottle between the milk and a head of lettuce. But, coming in at just under $15 a bottle, Acacia Pinot Noir 2013 is a perfect bright, fruity red to test out in your fridge.
If chilled reds aren’t your thing, summer is also primetime for rosé. Our customers love the fresh tastes of melon, strawberries and cherries in a glass of chilled Cave Saint-Verny Pinot Noir Rosé.
And let’s not forget that it’s sangria season! We love a good white sangria with chunks of fresh fruit. One of our favorite recipes features white Roja Spanish wine.
Cheers to not settling for light beer this summer!