Summer Reds

Lighter reds for easy drinking

Jonathan Rogers from VIN Wine Merchants in Emsworth looks at which kind of reds are easier to drink in warmer weather

This time of year, I always see a change in buying patterns based on what kind of weather we are experiencing. Spring is officially here which means longer evenings and warmer days. Although we have had the longer evenings, the warmer days have yet to arrive. Despite that it is time where most of us start to swap the rich full-bodied reds to something a little lighter and easy drinking.

While we will never tire of rosé wine, which we also start to consume more this time of year, the lighter reds are perfect for drinking with BBQ food or just by themselves and don’t forget about the possibility of chilling them down slightly.

The thing to remember is the lighter the red the better. Reds with loads of fruit and soft tannins cope better with chilling than the full bodied, heavy numbers. Stick to grapes such as Pinot Noir, Gamay (reds from the Beaujolais region are made from this beauty) and some lighter Cabernet Sauvignon’s from California and other new world regions. Grenache is another fruity favourite and can be a fantastic partner to cold dishes on a hot day. Don’t over chill the wine as this can strip any flavours and aromas and don’t put ice cubes in the glass. This will water the wine down adding a thin, dull character.

Some reds are fruitier than others which often leads to a velvety character with a smooth balanced body. This makes them easier to drink on their own, but they can often be heavier in alcohol. These tend to be darker and deeper in colour often from warmer regions. Shiraz from Australia or Primitivo from the Puglia region are typical of this style.

Try these to begin with which are light in body and colour and will be great slightly chilled.

Undivided Pinot Noir France – £10.99
They recommend drinking this chilled all year round. A superbly elegant, rounded and soft little number from selected vineyards in France. Easy to drink with lingering finish.

Domaine de Milhomme Beaujolais -£14.99
Owned by the Perrin family, a well-respected wine producing dynasty, this Gamay has a lovely cherry fruit character with a raspberry hint on the aroma.

La Barbacoa Grenache Spain – £8.99
A great little Grenache from La Mancha in Spain, light with hints of blackberry fruit and a light fruity finish.