While we continue enduring the heat of summer, we tend to want wines that are light, refreshing and not too serious. These can even include red wine. Chilled red wine? Absolutely! It is just too hot to follow some traditional rules. While crisp white wines are a usual go-to for quenching your thirst in the summer, slightly chilled, easy-drinking reds are perfectly suitable as well.

Exploring new wines can help keep things interesting. North Carolina’s own Biltmore Estate and Winery suggests these wines for the summer season:

  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Pinot Grigio
  • Riesling
  • Chardonnay
  • White Blend
  • Rosé
  • Red Blend
  • Merlot

They also note that “If serving outdoors, keep your wine cool in a mix of ice and water. (Ice alone doesn’t chill as well.) It’s also helpful to keep the wine bottle out of direct sunlight – especially if you’re enjoying a red wine, which can ‘cook’ if it gets too warm.”

Other tasty options include wine cocktails. These have become a popular and refreshing way to enjoy your favorite wine. White wine spritzers have been a standard for years but now, new concoctions are mixing things up in a delicious way. Some may seem a bit intricate but some of the simplest recipes can be the best. An easy suggestion is to mix ¾ cups of red wine, ¼ cups lemon-lime soda, pour over ice and garnish with a lime wedge (substitute the soda with ginger beer for an added kick).   

Of course, selection comes down to personal preference, as well as the food that the wine is being paired with but that’s a topic entirely unto itself. As a final bit of advice, keep a bottle of bubbly on hand. A chilled bottle of brut or blanc de noirs can prove indispensable. You never know when an impromptu celebration may arise or you may simply want to enjoy a glass during a beautiful sunset.