How to drink red wine in summer

Red wine conjures images of a night in. The fire is crackling, a big, hearty meal is braising, and you take a sip of wine that warms you from the inside-out. Red equals winter, essentially.

But it turns out that some reds actually make for perfect drinking as the weather heats up.

These tend to be lighter styles of wine – but don’t be fooled by the term ‘light’. These drops still pack a punch.

“By light, we mean texture in the mouth, not the flavour; we still want flavour and character,” says Virginia Jacobs from Wine Taste Talk.

“We just don’t want heavy tannins, heavy flavour and heavy mouth feel in summer.”

Here are some warm-weather-friendly red varieties.

Pinot noir

The first go-to for a summer red is the popular pinot noir.

“A pinot noir from a cool climate like the Bellarine Peninsula, the Mornington Peninsula, New Zealand or the Yarra Valley will be a lighter style,” says Jacobs. “They’re often quite fruit-driven.”


Pink wine is everywhere this summer, especially when seafood is on the table. “The standard [of rosé] has improved: we’re seeing drier styles with some complexity,” says Jacobs. “A chilled sparkling rosé is great, too.”

Sparkling shiraz

Sparkling shiraz has become a classic Australian Christmas wine because it goes so well with white meat like pork, but enjoy this red beyond the festive season.