For all you red wine lovers out there who, like us, are suffering the heat wave in many parts of the world—and by suffering we’re not referring to the sweltering temperatures, but to the fact that opening a bottle of red in these stifling heat is unthinkable—we’re here to help.
Here are our suggestions for 10 wines that, if served at 14°C (one hour in the fridge will do the trick), will bring back your smile—reds with low tannins and light body that can be refrigerated without compromising their aromas or flavor.
From north to south…
1) Verduno Pelaverga Basadone, Castello di Verduno (PIEDMONT)
A shoo–in for a scorching summer, thanks to its almost-over-the-top spiciness which is refreshing on the nose and palate. Sapid, salty, flavorsome… a pleasure!
2) Vindabeive, Valfaccenda (PIEDMONT)
A young winery in Roero run by the spirited and talented Luca Faccenda. One-liter bottles of 100% Nebbiolo, with short maceration and aged purely in stainless steel, this is a moreish wine thanks to a racy acidity and a sublime fruitiness typical of Roero’s sandy soil.
3) Punk, Cascina Tavjin (PIEDMONT)
A unique Grignolino resulting from a very long maceration and, after a year, a ripasso on the skins of the new vintage. Extraordinary on the nose, expressive on the palate. An unkempt red that goes down like a lead balloon.
4) Rossese di Dolceacqua, Terre Bianche (LIGURIA)
We have included the Bricco Arcagna cru because its flagship wine is incredibly drinkable, flavorsome, captivating and complex.
5) Rosso di Valtellina Olè, Dirupi (LOMBARDY)
Birba and Faso, two young winemakers who head up this splendid winery (which received a Snail symbol in the Slow Wine guide) give us this Nebbiolo which manages to combine complexity, elegancy, approachability, sense of place, and affordability… Do we need to go on?
6) Elda, Nusserhof (ALTO ADIGE)
A wine from the Schiava grape of rare complexity, thanks also to its vineyard of origin, which is home to some very old clones. The style is very subtle and rich in spicy nuances. Spacious and mouthfilling without being oily.
7) Colli Berici Tai Rosso Vigneto Riveselle, Piovene Porto Godi (VENETO)
Crisp and lively fruit, low alcohol content, racy acidity and a sapid finish, all at a very reasonable price.
8) Maremma Toscana Ciliegio Vigna Vallerana Alta, Antonio Camillo (TUSCANY)
Plays on freshness on the palate, ease of expression and lightness. One of the most satisfying Tuscan wines from this point of view, also thanks to its broad fruit flavors.
9) Campi Flegrei Piedirosso, La Sibilla (CAMPANIA)
One of the most highly recommended reds for summer. Thanks to the volcanic soil of the vineyards, the wine is a concentrate of minerality and flint. On the palate it is flavorsome, crisp, fragrant and sweet in the finish. A model wine for the appellation and for reds from the Campania region in general.
10) Cerasuolo di Vittoria, COS (SICILY)
Yes, you can drink a Sicilian red even when its 35°C outside, since this wine handles refrigeration well. Pleasant on nose with notes of cherry, caper and anchovy; on the palate you’ll find notes of freshly harvested mulberry. We are big fans of this wine and this appellation. Get your hands on it if you haven’t already.