Wines to Love this Summer
The warmer months are here and with them come relaxation, festivities, and lots of sunshine. This is the time of year when lighter, brighter styles of wine come into their own.
Think crisp, refreshing white wines – lighter, simpler, fruit and acid-driven dry or slightly off-dry whites, served well chilled.
But don’t discount the reds – many red wines are also excellent on a hot day, especially during a hot Australian Summer. Many Australian Pinot Noirs can be lightly chilled without losing personality and character, and grapes such as Gamay, Sangiovese, Barbera and Grenache that originated in Mediterranean climates, are just perfect for drinking in warm weather.
How to find the best wines to enjoy over Summer is simply a matter of preference and to help you reach for the perfect bottle every time, we’ve compiled a selection of wines to take you through the season.
Sparkling Wine might very well be the wine world’s best answer to Summer heat. A glass of Sparkling Wine is always appropriate, regardless of the time of year (or time of day), but in Summer, a glass of bubbly feels almost mandatory. The wine’s temperature and the bubbles themselves make it a refreshing, cooling beverage, and its high acidity makes them perfectly suited to Summer foods such as ham, salads, chilled soup and a variety of seafood.
Rosé has been taking over wine lists for the past few years and is now the tipple of choice for long lunches. The ensuing flavours range from red fruit and flowers through citrus and melon to celery and rhubarb. Characterised by their light body and crisp finish, they are the ideal wine for Summer and perfect when served with seafood such as tuna, barbecued prawns or swordfish.
With or without food, as a pre-dinner drink or as a refresher at the end of a long, hot day, Hunter Valley Semillon is the wine to drink this Summer. Naturally low in alcohol and almost devoid of residual sugar, Hunter Semillon is the perfect partner for the season's lighter fish and seafood meals. When young, it's great with fresh oysters, cold cooked prawns and simply cooked white-fleshed fish. With some age, it is lovely when served with smoked trout or salmon, roast stuffed chicken, lobster with burnt butter and other flavoursome dishes.
Originating from the Portuguese island of Madeira, Verdelho’s suitability for Mediterranean-style climates with warm-hot, dry Summers makes it a superb fit for Australian Summers. With its fresh, tropical fruit characters, un-oaked style and sheer drinkability, Australian Verdelho is very much the crowd-pleaser. It’s well-matched when served with a host of spicy Asian cuisines including Thai, Vietnamese and Malaysian, or simply enjoyed kicking back by the pool.
When the sun is shining, there are few things more refreshing than a glass of Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris). This wonderfully easy-drinking wine is a Summer wine through and through and is fast becoming one of Australia’s most popular white wines. It can be paired with a variety of foods with ease, and depending on the region in which it was created, the flavour profiles can vary significantly. The acidity of this easy-drinking wine pairs perfectly with seafood.
Taking its name from Vitis Apiana, "the vine beloved of bees", Fiano wines can range in style from light and fresh to full-bodied and rich. Its love of hot and dry climates has seen it thrive in wine-producing regions such as the Hunter Valley and is the perfect Summer wine to suit a range of cooked or raw seafood.
While Chardonnay makes for great drinking all year round, the warmer months are the perfect time to get to know the world’s most popular white wine. To beat the heat, with Chardonnay, choose an unoaked Chardonnay without the heavy, buttery texture of malolactic fermentation. It’s a simple and effective way to compete with the warmer temperatures and great with a crunchy salad, sushi and sashimi; crayfish or lobster on the BBQ, steamed or grilled fish and it is heaven on earth with fresh oysters.
Viognier is Summer in a bottle! This full-bodied white wine is much loved for its perfumed aromas of peach, tangerine and honeysuckle. It’s also a fabulous food wine and pairs well with a wide range of foods including rich seafood, red and white meats, spicy Indian, Thai and Moroccan dishes and is just at home with a cheese plate.
Make your Summer even more sensational by treating yourself to a whole new world of wine with delicious alternative varietals you are guaranteed to love.
Find our top picks here.