How to enjoy red wine in the summer

Wine expert, Matt Dicks, tells us how to choose the perfect red wine to enjoy in spring and summer 

It would have been nice to write about light-bodied red wines that are ideal for chilling in warm weather, however the recent spell of spring sunshine is now but a distant memory. Shocked that a glass of red can be the perfect tipple to enjoy in the sunshine? 

Move aside rosé and there’s new contender on the block, but what do we mean by the term light-bodied? Alcohol contributes towards the body (nothing to do with Kylie Minogue here!) of wine through its viscosity, give a glass of wine a swirl and you’ll notice legs and tears running down the inside of the glass. The more pronounced these legs and tears are, the higher the level of alcohol in the wine.

I always ask customers to compare it with milk. We get skimmed, semi-skimmed and the full fat one with the blue top. Translate this to light, medium and full and you’ve mastered the body of wine, so light-bodied wines can be found lurking around the 12 – 13% abv mark. Keep your eyes peeled for wines labelled Pinot Noir, Beaujolais and Bardolino as these are all great examples of light-bodied reds and great to pair with a wide variety of buffet foods and simple dishes. 

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Recchia Bardolino, Italy 

Light and aromatic with a redcurrant and sour-cherry tang. Corvina grapes bring body and structure to the wine, which performs perfectly with spaghetti alla vongole. 

Winbirri Vineyards Insignia, England 

This lively wine from Norfolk is a blend of three grapes, Dornfelder, Rondo and Regent. It has lovely blackberry and plum flavours underscored by a pinch of black pepper and finishing with a sweet strawberry flourish. 

Waitrose Romanian Pinot Noir 

This Pinot Noir is a fresh elegant wine full of cherry and raspberry and hints of ripe strawberry. All these typical Pinot Noir characteristics are in balance with a gentle sweetness and soft approachable texture. 

Cuvée des Vignerons, Beaujolais, France 

This wine is made from Gamay grapes, which thrive on the gently rolling hills of the region. A favourite choice in restaurants for its approachable, fruity style, it goes well with chicken, lamb, or cheeses. 

 

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