A friend recently asked me for advice on wines to drink during summer as the heat bears down. She had enjoyed several rosés but was looking for a way to spruce up her experience beyond pink. Her favorite chardonnay seemed a bit plodding in the hot weather, and cabernet just seemed so autumnal, she said. And she wanted something to serve guests at an upcoming patio party.
After resisting my initial impulse to tell her to double down on rosé, I offered her three suggestions for jazzing up wine in summer:
Try a wine cocktail.
Start your evening - and welcome your guests - with something simple. My favourite is a port tonic, which can be mixed in about as much time as it takes to pull a cork. Popular throughout Portugal, a port tonic is the aperitif of choice in the Douro Valley, the home of port wine. It's essentially a riff on gin and tonic, with lower alcohol. Just pour one part white port and two parts tonic water over ice and garnish with your favorite citrus fruit.
Explore lighter styles of wine.
Vinho verde, another Portuguese classic, is ideal for hot weather. It's lower in alcohol than most wines and is often spritzy with carbonation for extra refreshment. And it's usually cheaper, making it a potential competitor for rosé, which has crept up in price as it has soared in popularity.
German Riesling, especially from the Mosel region, and fresh, young Austrian gruner veltliner are excellent choices when the mercury soars. And they are exceptionally friendly with a wide variety of foods, including meats.
Chill your reds
We need to get away from the idea that red wine should be served at room temperature. That's especially true in the summer. Serving it cooler brings out its fruit and often helps the wine taste more balanced.
The Washington Post