Wine Lists

Cool reds for hot days

By Casey Warrener

Drinking seasonally isn’t all about colour. Discover excellent reds for the warmer months ahead.

Much like that common refrain “red wine with red meat, white with white”, the idea that crisp whites are for hot weather and reds for when it’s cold isn’t necessarily correct.

You don’t need to consign yourself to full-blast air-conditioning to enjoy red wine over the warmer months. In fact, many of the season’s occasions, such as the backyard barbecue and the festive table, will be elevated by the addition of some cool red wines. That said, there are some styles that are more seasonally appropriate, and that a stint in the Esky, ice bucket or fridge won’t hurt.

Looking to lighter and less boozy is a good general rule of thumb, and fresh and fruity styles will also work well. Get started with the suggestions ahead.

Glass of red wine against a blue sky | Summer red winesLight and cool

Seek out reds that are light in tannin and alcohol for serving with a slight chill – 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge or kept out of the sun in the top of the Esky or ice bucket should do it. Gamay, pinot noir and pinot meunier are some varieties you could try, but winemaking style and environment also play a part. Look for reds at around 12 to 13 per cent ABV and with little to no oak influence.

Try:
2019 Murdoch Hill The Surrey Pinot Meunier, $40
2020 Woods Crampton Tread Softly Pinot Noir, $22
2019 Thick as Thieves Driftwood Pinot Gamay, $32

Fresh and flavoursome

If you love bold reds, the good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice flavour in hot weather. Fresh and fruity styles (which also tend to be kinder to your bank account, so win-win) can be enjoyable at between 15 and 18 degrees during summer. Again, on sweltering-hot days, this will likely mean a quick spell in the fridge is necessary for optimal drinking. Juicy grenache, other Mediterranean varieties, and even lighter shiraz can all work in warm weather when in the right style served at the right temperature. There are many delicious red blends to draw upon, too.

Try:
2019 Varney Wines Entrada Grenache Mourvedre Touriga, $25
2018 Dune Tirari, $26
2018 Colab and Bloom Grenache, $25

Sparkling reds and rosés


It is the festive season, after all. Shiraz fans can get their fill with a sparkling style Australia has made its own, which will fit nicely into the events alongside a cheese plate or glazed ham. And it’s not quite red, but other favourites for the season are rosé and sparkling pinot noir, which are textural, refreshing options for pairing with all sorts of food and sipping in the sun.

Try:
2013 Ashton Hills Sparkling Shiraz, $50
NV Temple Bruer Sparkling Red, $22
2013 Peter Lehmann Black Queen Sparkling Shiraz, $42