Thirst Quenching Wines That Aren’t Rosé
Let’s be honest. When temperatures start to run into the 30s most of us aren’t exactly craving a glass of bold red wine. Nine times out of ten people will go with something a bit more refreshing; beer, an ice-cold martini, and cider are popular choices.
But, there are a multitude of wines on the market that hit that spot just as well.
Vinho Verde, literally translated ‘green wine’ is more accurately ‘young wine.’
The wine coming out of this region is, much like Beaujolais Nouveau, released very young and as a result is very light, fresh and easy to drink with naturally high acidity and more fruit-forward aromas. It often goes through malolactic fermentation (a second fermentation) in a bottle which produces a slight effervescence.
The alcohol content is generally pretty low as well so that second glass won’t put you down quite so fast.
2017 Quinta de Soalheiro Primeiras Vinhas Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Portugal (av/ price ex. tax £14);
2014 Quinta da Pedra Alvarinho, Moncao e Melgaco, Portugal (av. price ex. tax £19)
Take a skip over to the Basque country of Spain and you’ll see porrons full of Txakoli (“chah-kuh-lee”).
Much like its neighbour, Vinho Verde, the wine has a slight effervescence to it. Again, the alcohol content is on the lower side and they tend to have a higher acidity, are mineral-laden, can even lean a touch salty.
2017 Doniene Gorrondona Txakoli Blanco, Bizkaiko Txakolina, Spain (av. price ex. tax £13)
Bodega K5Argiñano 2015 (av. price ex. tax £14)
A rather unconventional choice can be found coming out of Slovenia. Cviček, known locally as ‘the baby maker’ is a tart blend of red and white grapes and is a fun departure from the usual.
Known as having a sour characteristic, it’s loaded with acidity and is a great choice for fans of sour beers. While most shops will market it as a red wine it’s almost closer to a rosé.
In fact, it’s a very pale cherry red, low in alcohol and packed with tart red berry flavours. It’s especially delicious with a chill.
One of the most forgotten about white wines, Chenin Blanc, is a perfect summer sipper.
Naturally good with seafood, packed with that lip-smacking acid and in a variety of sweet and salty levels it’s got summer written all over it.
Vouvray produces probably the most well-renowned Chenins, varying in sweetness levels and generally luscious and juicy.
Want to avoid the residual sugar altogether? Head over to South Africa where the chenins are racingly dry and still quite delightful.
Donkiesbaai Steen 2018 (av. price ex tax £19)
Thistle & Weed Duwweltjie Chenin Blanc 2018;
Try something new: Refreshing red wines
Looking for a refreshing red wine? Try heading over to Beaujolais. Made entirely of Gamay, a naturally light and easy-going varietal that produces light and fruity wines, most pack a fun surprise; they are produced using carbonic maceration.
The grapes are allowed to begin fermentation in vat prior to being crushed. It produces a racy, prickly, almost efflorescence like acidity. It makes for a lively, zippy red wine that does well with or without a chill.
2017 Anita & Andre Kuhnel Chenas Cuvee P’tit Co Les Brureaux, Beaujolais, France (av. price ex. tax £16)
2017 Domaine Richard Rottiers Moulin-a-Vent, Beaujolais, France (av. price ex. tax £18)
Another one that’s a touch off the beaten path is Grignolino.
Found throughout the Piedmont region of Italy, particularly Asti, these light reds are a local delight.
Again, high in acid, light in colour they tend to pick up a lot of macerated fruit flavours but pack a bit more of a tannic punch than other light reds.
It’s a great compromise when you really want that bold red but the weather just isn’t having it.
You can also try some of the food pairing possibilities: salade Niçoise or tuna tartare will make a wonderful match. Alternatively, you can ask a wine pairing app Wine Picker for more suggestions.
Grignolino del Monferrato Casalese DOC “°G” 2018 – Vicara (av. price £12)
2017 Giacomo Bologna Braida Limonte Grignolino d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy (av. price ex. tax £9)
The long and the short of it? Look for something with high acid, low alcohol, and generally with a few less years under its belt. Young and bright. The fridge at your favourite wine shop is always a great place to start.