The idea of drinking red wine when it’s hot outside can seem counterintuitive. Who on earth would want to pop open a red when the grill is going? A glass of white or rosé seems so much more refreshing.
The problem is, red wines go so much better with what’s on your grill than the so-called summer water in your glass. Steaks, burgers, ribs, and chops all beg for hearty red.
What’s the solution? Chill your red.
It might sound insane to some wine drinkers, but chilled red is fantastic in the summer months. And we’re not just talking about light reds like Pinot Noir and Gamay, though both are delicious. Think Cab Franc, Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel. All are delicious with a chill next to a juicy cheeseburger.
Here are six favorite red wines for summertime chilling.
Alexandre Sirech makes wines based on the old French tradition of blending from grapes from two completely different regions of the country. This practice that was quite common until the creation of the country’s appellation system. This wine is a blend of Merlot from Bordeaux and Syrah from the southeast. With a slight chill it is bright, fruity, and extremely fun. It’s perfect for sipping in the backyard.
Considered a “natural” wine, this Syrah is delicious with a chill. The flavors of pepper and black fruit are ideal for grilled lamb, and the chill makes it light and refreshing on the palate.
This Merlot-heavy blend has a rich nose, with fresh, ripe red fruit, but the body is light and juicy. The 20 percent of Cabernet in this blend gives the wine a bit more power, making it ideal for a nice porterhouse or New York strip.
This is a beautiful Zinfandel that is all blackberries, cherries, and blueberries on the palate and nose, especially chilled. It’s a truly American wine, too, and you can’t go wrong here by pairing it with hamburgers and hot dogs.
You can get a lot of really great Bordeaux, like this one, for under $20. They are actually great wines for BBQs. When chilled, this wine gives off a mix of herbs and spices — you might even detect a faint aroma of tacos al pastor! It would be ideal with that dish, or anything else grilled over charcoal.
Randall Grahm is known as the Rhone Ranger, and this wine is refreshing and bright. When chilled, it’s ideal for all sorts of grilled fare — and almost too easy to drink.