6 Red Wines Perfect for Summer Sipping

Summer heat doesn’t mean giving up red wine. Below, Henrik Thostrup of Colonial Wines & Spirits curates a list of reds that are delicious and refreshing to drink, while still offering the robust flavor of a classic red wine.


Four Graces Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2019

This 2019 pinot noir showcases a beautiful ruby hue in the glass, pleasant aromas and flavors of black cherry, red currants, hints of damp earth and rich dark chocolate. The rich fruit and lively acidity make it a thirst quencher and a perfect red wine for summer grilling.

Pro tip: Serve this wine at around 60° F.


King Estate Willamette Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir 2021

This wine has all the signature aromas and flavors of a regular pinot noir. The color is lighter, and the aromas and flavors are cherries, strawberries, melon, lime zest and passion fruit. Serve this wine well-chilled with appetizers, hamburgers, hot dogs, salads and grilled vegetables. If your food leans to the heavier side, no worries; this wine fits the bill from grilled salmon to ribeye steak.


Borsao Tres Picos Garnacha

Here is an excellent summer red that, in its home of Spain, is enjoyed year-round at around 60°F. It has a cherry red color accented by purple notes. Aromas and flavors remind me of a fruit salad with cherry, plum and other dark fruits. This is the quintessential charcuterie wine!

Pro tip: This is the main ingredient for my summer sangria recipe.


Notorious Pink Grenache Rosé

This is one of my favorite summer wines. Chill it down well and enjoy it everywhere you find yourself this summer. It’s made from 100% grenache and delivers thirst-quenching refreshment that starts with aromas and flavors of peach, plum, pear and orange. Enticing melon, raspberry and cherry flavors with bright acidity follow on the palate. This serious summer wine can be served with grilled fish, chicken and pork.

Pro tip: Serve well-chilled.


Banfi Chianti Classico Riserva

This is not a wine that is typically considered a summer quencher, but it definitely belongs in that group. When you drink it at 55-60°F, you’ll discover plum, blackberry and vanilla with superb balance and structure to a pleasing finish. This red wine also goes beautifully with charcuterie and pasta dishes.


Alexander Valley Vineyards Sonoma County Dry Rosé of Sangiovese

Chianti Classico is 100% sangiovese. The sangiovese grape makes an excellent rosé wine with the same characteristics as its red counterpart. Chill this wine well, pour it into a glass and it screams summer quencher. Enjoy the aromas and flavors of summer fruit with a touch of minerality. The wine pairs nicely with grilled fish and fish tacos and spicy foods like gumbo or curry.

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