Monday, August 11, 2014

Red Wine In Summertime

When the summer rolls around, we don't drink a lot of red wine. Red wines tend to be heavier in flavor and body, and often a little bit higher in alcohol content. On a warm day, we are usually looking for something a bit more refreshing. There are reasons to still enjoy red wines in the summer. With grilled meat, sometimes you need a big red wine. A nice sangria is great for a casual weekend afternoon. And sometimes, you can find a red wine that works well chilled, allowing you that cool drink you so desperately need.

We are told we should avoid chilling red wines. They say that the fruitier, earthier flavors in red wines become subdued when chilled, so you lose a lot of the subtleties of the wine. This is true. (White wine tends to be more forward with its flavors, and chilling can even reign in a more aggressive acidity.) But some red wines can stand chilling, especially ones with sweeter fruit flavors. Even better are blended wines that use both red and white varietals. Chilling that sort of wine will help the flavors from the white varietals "pop" to augment the smoother flavors of the red varietals.

Why does this matter? Sometimes when you are lounging around, you might want to drink something a little more substantial. White wines can be refreshing, but they often go down a little too easy: the glass empties too quickly. A glass of red wine might catch your attention a little more, and remind you to savor your drink while you savor the warm weather. The trick is to give your red wine just a slight chill; leaving it in the fridge 15-20 minutes should be enough. If it comes out a little too cold for your tastes, simply let it sit a few minutes or hold the glass by the tumbler to raise the temperature a little.  To each his own: this is one of those subjective areas where experimentation is necessary and there is no right or wrong in what you like best.

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