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The Best Summer Wines for Sipping

By Carol A. Wilcox

Image by Harald Funken from Pixabay 


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Need some suggestions for the best wines to sip all summer? We have a list of the best summer wines for sipping that will keep you refreshed during warm sunny days and cool summer evenings. Our list covers white wines, red wines, and rosé wines.

White Wines for Summer Sipping Light to medium-bodied white wines with high acidity are very refreshing summer sippers. Look for wines that are fruitier and dry and avoid the heavier white wines such as Chardonnay or super sweet wines such as Sauternes or Muscat. White wines taste best when chilled in the refrigerator for several hours.

Here are our picks:
Vinho Verde – the northern Vinho Verde region of Portugal is where these white, red, and rosé wines are produced. Vinho Verde means ‘green wine’ or ‘young wine’ and is a wine producing style that tends to be light-bodied and low in alcohol – but not super sweet. These wines are refreshing and can have hints of lemon, melon, and green herbs, with a bit of fizz, making it a perfect summer sipping wine – not to mention that these wines are an excellent value.


Some common label white Vinho Verde wines: Gazela Vinho Verde, Nobilis Vinho Verde, Aveleda Alvarinho, Broadbent Vinho Verde, and Seastone Vinho Verde.

Sauvignon Blanc – this wine varietal has become popular in recent years and is perfect for warm weather sipping due to its fresh, crisp taste. This wine is produced in many regions of the world including France, New Zealand, Washington State, Chile, and California. It’s acidic and can contain flavors and aromas such as grass, lime, green bell pepper, guava and lemongrass.


Some common label Sauvignon Blanc wines: Matua Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), Loveblock Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) Chateau Ste Michelle Sauvignon Blanc (Washington State), Fat Bastard Sauvignon Blanc (France), Dark Horse Sauvignon Blanc (California) and La Playa Sauvignon Blanc (Chile).

Pinot Grigio – this is another refreshing varietal perfect for warm weather drinking. Pinot Grigio originated in France where it is known as Pinot Gris. But it’s in Northeastern Italy where Pinot Grigio gained popularity and is the region most commonly associated with the production of this wine.

Pinot Grigio is dry and acidic with minerality, and can have tastes of honeysuckle, lemons, and limes. If you’re into wine coolers, this wine is perfect. Check out this recipe for Pinot Grigio wine coolers.

Some common label Pinot Grigio wines: Pighin Pinot Grigio (Italy), Kris Pinot Grigio (Italy), Luna Vineyards Napa Valley Pinot Grigio (California), Tesoro Della Regina Pinot Grigio, La Crema Monterey Pinot Gris, and Pike Road Pinot Gris (Oregon).

Red Wines for Summer Sipping


Should you chill a bottle of red wine for summer sipping? Yes, you can, but not all red wines will taste good when chilled. Heavy-bodied, dry wines are not intended for chilling and can even cause you to become dehydrated. When choosing a red wine for summer, stick to light-to-medium-bodied wines that are fruitier with well-balanced acidity and lower tannins. These are the types of red wines that can be enjoyed chilled during the warmer summer months.

When chilling a red wine for summer, don’t chill it to be icy-cold (like beer) as it can change how the wine tastes and can make it seem bitter. And never put ice cubes in red wine. We suggest placing your red bottle of wine in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes before enjoying.

Here are our picks:

Pinot Noir – some Pinot Noirs are heavier that others, so choose a Pinot that is lighter-bodied. Look for Pinot Noirs from California or Willamette Valley Oregon.


Some common label light-medium bodied Pinot Noirs: Firesteed Pinot Noir (Oregon), Angeline Pinot Noir (California), Meiomi Pinot Noir (California), Bogle Pinot Noir (California), La Crema Pinot Noir (California), and Cloudline Pinot Noir (Oregon).

Beaujolais – Beaujolais is named for the Beaujolais region of France. This is a light bodied red wine that is juicy, low in tannins and high in acidity, making it the perfect red wine for summer sipping.

Some common label Beaujolais wines: Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages, Duboeuf Beaujolais Villages, and DeBeaune Beaujolais Nouveau.

Rosé Wines for Summer Sipping


First things first: Although they are both pink, Rosé wine is not White Zinfandel. Nor are they always sweet. Rosé wine is made by contact with the skin of red grapes for just a short period of time. When the desired color is reached, the winemaker removes the grape skins.

Rosé is made in many wine regions of the world with different types of grapes with the some of the most common being Grenache, Zinfandel, Cinsault and Pinot Noir.

Rosé wines tend to be dry with common flavors and aromas such as strawberry and raspberry. The wines are acidic, smooth, buttery, and fresh with hints of minerals and green herbs. Serve these wines well chilled.

Some common label Rosé wines: OVR Old Vine Rosé (California), Angeline Rosé (California), Josh Cellars Rosé (California), Chronic Cellars Pink Pedals Rosé (California), Domaine Loubejac Rosé (Willamette, Oregon), Cottesbrook Rosé (New Zealand), The Palm by Whispering Angel Rosé (France)



Need more Rosé wine suggestions? Check out this article. 

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