It’s hot. What wine shall we open?

Something called a heat dome is headed our way, and it’s going to get really hot. I say this calls for a cool, refreshing wine. How about you?

What do you think?

What wines do you like to pour on fiery summer days? Tell us your choice and why you like it in Substack Chat!

Yes, I know air conditioning makes it possible for us to enjoy big red wines and even Port when summer’s fiercest heat is burning outdoors. We can enjoy what we like year ’round, and that’s a good thing.

And yet, when the weather gets so scorchy that everyone starts talking about it, the simple pleasure of a wine that suits the season seems to help beat the heat.

Two desperate voyagers crawl across a searing desert in search of an oasis. (Image generated by DALL·E, an AI by OpenAI.)

Two desperate voyagers crawl across a searing desert in search of an oasis. (Image generated by DALL·E, an AI by OpenAI.)

I’m not talking about cheap, forgettable wine. Life’s too short for that.

But there’s plenty of quality, affordable wines that fill the bill. What does such a wine look (and taste) like? Here are key characteristics to look for:

High Acidity: Wines with a fresh acidic snap feel clean and refreshing. They don’t weigh you down.
Lighter Body: Wines with lighter, less mouth-filling texture and soft but not nonexistent tannins communicate a cooler impression than heavier wines.
Lower Alcohol: Again, relatively lower alcohol, in the range of 12 to 13 percent, are relatively cooling. Higher alcohol wines at 14 percent and above can feel heavy and hot.
A Light Chill: It doesn’t take deep thinking to recognize that cooler wines – not ice-cold, but lightly chilled to about 55ªF. from a half-hour in the fridge – are more refreshing.
Fruit-Forward Flavors: Bright flavors that evoke fresh fruit can add to a wine’s summer appeal.

That’s a great start, but what kind of wine do we get when we add all those good things together?

Let’s take it by color:

• Yes, it can be red. We might think first of light whites and crisp rosés, for summer sipping, but don’t rule out summery reds with lighter texture and lower alcohol. Beaujolais, Loire Valley red wines, Dolcetto and Barbera from Italy’s Piemonte, and even less familar options like Argentine Bonarda or Austrian Zweigelt. Don’t hesitate to give them a light chill, too.

• White wines are traditional summer sippers, but it’s still wise to look for lighter-bodied, crisply acidic whites with muted oak presence if there’s any oak at all. Skip the big, buttery Chardonnays in favor of Loire Sauvignon Blanc, drier-style Riesling, or Austria’s signature Grüner Veltliner.

• Of course there’s good, dry rosé. It’s the first option that many of us think about when we’re looking for a cooling summer wine. Pink wines cover a broad range of quality from bland and characterless “blush” wines to very serious and relatively pricey rosé. I love rosé from the Southern Rhône and Provence, but Italy, Spain, the U.S., and just about every other wine-producing region offers a variety of good rosé.

• Don’t overlook the delights of a chilled bubbly when it’s too darn hot outside. You don’t need to invest in a trophy Champagne. The wide range of Prosecco from Northeastern Italy and Cava from Spain awaits your attention, and the quest only begins there.

Today’s featured wine, Famille Perrin 2022 Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé, hit the spot on a warm day. Fresh, light, and dry, without a hint of oak, it brought delicious flavors of citrus fruit and honeysuckle to the table.


Today’s Tasting Report

Famille Perrin 2022 Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé ($12.99)

Famille Perrin

Made with organically grown Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Syrah grapes vinified in stainless steel with no touch of oak, Famille Perrin 2022 Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé is a fresh and delicious wine for summer enjoyment, yet it’s complex and interesting enough to grab your attention. Closer to pale bronze than pink in color, it lifts up appealing scents of honeysuckle and mixed citrus. Citrus flavors of orange, tangerine and lime carry over on the palate in a refreshing flavor shaped with plenty of crisp acidity for balance, with moderate 13% alcohol staying out of the way. U.S. importer: Vineyard Brands Inc., Birmingham, Ala. (June 13, 2024)

FOOD MATCH: This sippable rosé is just right for summer enjoyment on its own, but its pleasant citric character makes it a versatile food match too. It should go well with vegetable dishes, shrimp and other shellfish, chicken from the grill, and hot-and-spicy fare. It was fine with a fiery Mexican-style bean dish.

WHEN TO DRINK: It won’t fade in the short term, but its fresh fruit suggests drinking it up and looking for the next vintage. The 2023 is already coming into the market.

VALUE: lists a $15 average U.S. retail price, which isn’t out of line for this quality rosé. It’s widely available in the lower teens, though, and even under $10 in some markets, so it’s wise to shop around.

This link will take you to Famille Perrin’s’s English-language fact sheet on the 2022 rosé, with links to details on other recent vintages.

Check prices and find vendors for Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé on

Follow this Wine-Searcher link for information about Famille Perrin and browse vendors for its portfolio, including its flagship wine, Chateau de Beaucastel Chateauneuf-du-Pape


Find the wines you want

Explore Wine-Searcher is the place to go online if you want to find where to buy a particular wine that interests you. What’s more, offers so much more. It’s well worth a visit just to discover its many features, including its popular list of the world’s Top 10 Best Value Wines.


Good wines we’ve tried under $10.99!

Want tips to still more good, inexpensive wines? Here are Wine-Searcher links to vendors and prices for a bunch more wines for $10.99 or less that I’ve told you about in recent years. In some cases the prices may have risen over the $10.99 mark since I reviewed them, but they should still be excellent bargains. Please tell us about your favorites!


Sponsor the Wine Advisor.

Thirty Second Wine Advisor
Support The 30 Second Wine Advisor and help us pay the rent while reaching 25,000 dedicated readers with your sponsorship message in this space, at the top of this E-letter, and on our social media. If you’re an established business in wine, food, and similar ventures, there’s no better way to focus your message toward an audience that comes here for just those topics. See our Sponsorship Page, or email Robin Garr for more information.


Wine Forum and Social Media

You’re always welcome to drop by our WineLovers Discussion Group, the Internet’s first and most civil online community. Discussions are open for public viewing, but you must register to post. To request registration, please contact me at, tell me your name, mention the Wine Advisor, and briefly say why you’d like to participate in the forum. Sorry about the minor red tape, but this is our simple, low-tech way to deter spammers and bots.

I’d also be delighted to have you visit and “like” our WineLovers Facebook Page.

Bookmark the permalink.

Read more articles from The 30 Second Wine Advisor

Comments are closed