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Enjoy a red summer

INSTEAD of the traditional summer white, why not try one of the many red wine styles ideally suited to warm weather?

More and more, wine lovers are realising that certain red wine styles make for great summer drinking, particularly when accompanying meat or seafood fresh off the barbecue.

The key is to select red wines that are lighter in body and lower in alcohol than, say, a full-bodied Shiraz or a rich Cabernet.

Red wine styles to consider for summer drinking include:

• Sparkling Shiraz This unique sparkling wine style was developed in Australia and there are some very fine examples of sparkling red, made mostly from Shiraz. Leave aside the fact that the gorgeous crimson colour looks refreshing at any time, this wine style makes for great drinking either on its own, as a pre-dinner drink, or with just about any food, including many desserts.

Pinot Noir The best Australian Pinot Noir comes from our cooler regions. Pinot Noir wines are often more lightly coloured than fuller-bodied red wine styles with a light to medium palate.

Like Sparkling Shiraz, Pinot Noir can partner with a wide range of food, particularly roasted or grilled duck and chicken, and is also excellent on its own.

Pinot Noir is a temperamental grape that is notoriously difficult to produce but the result is a subtle, complex red that is ideal for summer drinking.

Sangiovese The Sangiovese grape produces light, savoury Italian-style reds such as the well-known Chianti.

It is becoming a staple of the Australian wine market and does particularly well in cooler areas such as Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale.

We are now able to enjoy high quality Australian Sangiovese and Sangiovese blends that match perfectly with summer favourites such as antipasto platters, Mediterranean and Moroccan dishes.

Rose Another wine to be enjoyed in summer is Rose. These wines are not truly red, but they have enough colour to make them far from white.

The colour will vary depending on the grapes involved, and Rose wines can be produced in a number of different ways. Fast proving popular as a summer wine of choice, Rose is very crisp, light and refreshing in hot weather.

Finally, don’t dismiss Cabernet Sauvignon as a summer wine choice. Sometimes, nothing but a good ‘cab sav’ will do as an accompaniment to a grilled steak or hamburger.

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