Sips for Hot Summer Nights — Outsmarting Wine

Related To:
summer wine

Photo by: Amy Fletcher ©

Amy Fletcher,

Every week, Mark Oldman -- wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers -- shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he'll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.

There’s no shame in the expression, “I don’t want to have to think,” when it comes to selecting wine for the sizzling soirées of summer.  At this steamy time of year, even wine aficionados want their pleasure immediate and their price tags moderate.  When contemplating which corks to pull, strive for the alcoholic equivalent of a steel drum or the Black Eyed Peas’ exuberant “ I Gotta Feeling” -- these wine types are guaranteed to make “tonight a good night.”

Prosecco: Light, uncomplicated, bubbly and sometimes a tad sweet, Prosecco is the easy Italian prince. It's a smartly-priced miracle worker that is instantly likeable and uplifting. Try it in a magnum, a double bottle which is becoming increasingly popular.

Vinho Verde: A staple of the Portuguese table, Vinho Verde is a spritzy splash of lemon-lime that is deeply thirst quenching. Its lager-like texture and single-digit price are ideal to turn your beer-only friends onto wine.  A cold glass of Vinho Verde with lighter seafood such as Jamie Oliver’s Fish Steamed With Couscous will cool down the most overheated souls.

Beaujolais: The ultimate don’t-worry-be-happy red, Beaujolais is like a good swig of spiked cranberry juice. Its bright berry perfume and light, gulpable texture rarely fail to charm the summer sipper.  Typically priced from $10 to $15, it is so smooth that you can serve it quite chilled and pair it with all but the heaviest of dishes.  It would be perfect with Bobby Flay’s BBQ Chicken Cobb Salad.

Next Up

Affordable Weeknight Wines — Outsmarting Wine

Here are three wine types that will enchant any night of the week and won't break the bank.

How to Taste Wine — Outsmarting Wine

Learn how to taste wine by using these three ways to build your wine-tasting vocabulary.

How to Send Wine Back — Outsmarting Wine

The easiest way to send back a bottle is to bring your server into the fold and ask his opinion.

3 Sizzling Wine Types for BBQ — Outsmarting Wine

Fire up the grill and try these wines with hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled chicken and more.

How to Order Wine in One Sentence — Outsmarting Wine

Here are three ways to order wine with just one sentence.

What to See and Say in a Wine Store — Outsmarting Wine

How do you choose a wine once you're in a wine store? Here’s a plan of attack that even a novice can conquer.

Serving Temperature of Wine in the Summer

The serving temperature of wine is like the weather conditions in a city: Small differences can vastly change your attitude about what's in front of you. The following guidelines will cast your wine in the most flattering light.

Happy Pairing of Wine and Hot Dogs

Given my passion for both hot dogs and wine, it's only right that I reveal how the two can get along for a summer barbecue.

Sip Wisely: Tips for Smart Alcohol Picks

With spring fever in the air, relax with a glass (or two) of alcohol. Beer, wine and cocktails can be part of a healthy diet---as long as you do it responsibly and follow our tips.

Related Pages