Red Wine in Summer


On a hot patio a full-bodied red wine may not appeal to you, but don’t discount all reds! There is a season and circumstance for every varietal and the summer is the best time to explore light reds.

The French in Beaujolais are famous for drinking their Gamay Noir chilled. Gamay is a light grape known for its floral bouquet and its kirsch and bubble gum flavour. It is packed with light red fruit unless it comes from the cru appellations. Serving wine chilled tends to supress the tannins and accentuate the fruit making it an acceptable practice.

Canadian Gamay products are of great quality today. I am a big fan of Malivoire Gamay from Niagara and Blue Mountain Gamay from BC. Both in the mid twenty-dollar range, they offer very different experiences. The Malivoire will be awesome chilled, but you may serve the Blue Mountain a couple degrees warmer. We often pay more for Canadian wines but our small wineries need support as they grow. Our investment as customers will pay dividends in the development of our nation’s wine industry.

Pinot Noir is my weakness. When done well, it is the world’s most elegant wine but it is a finicky grape, so be prepared to spend more for quality. Products from Chile are impressing me lately, as they seem to be improving with every vintage. I highly recommend Trotamundos from Chile’s Leyda Valley. The cool climate produced by the Humboldt Current makes for a fresh and fruity option, perfect for summer. It is medium-bodied with a great red cherry and plum palate but it sneaks in some blue fruit as well, which adds interest for me. At $23 a bottle, this is a value wine and because of its acidity pairs with almost anything on your plate.