Ever wonder why we don’t drink red wines cold? Put a bottle of cabernet on ice for an hour, pour a glass and you’ll understand: All you taste is tannin. But this is the time of year when almost everything is better with a light chill. If you’re outdoors, red is all you drink and you don’t like alcohol fumes rising from your glass, you can cool each of these bottles down to 60 degrees (20 minutes in the fridge) and they should taste delicious and refreshing.
Artazuri Garnacha, Navarra, 2013
Spanish garnacha is a perfect summer drink. Balanced but mild in tannin, it’s full of floral aromas and flavors of red currant, strawberry and raspberry. The secret to garnacha’s success is high-elevation, low-yielding vineyards, such as those in the Pyrenees foothills of Navarra. Fresh, juicy and balanced, this is an irresistible red wine to go with fish.
$11, Cambridge Wine & Spirits
The Wolftrap, Western Cape, 2014
A largely syrah-based blend with mourvedre and a dash of viognier from one of South Africa’s least pronounceable wineries (Boekenhoutskloof), this wine is fresh, ripe and slightly smoky. Full of red raspberry, with undertones of plum and an interesting mocha-like note on the finish, this goes great with barbecue.
$11, Blanchards Wines & Spirits, Boston
Jean-Paul Brun, “Terres Dorees” Morgon, 2013
This estate-bottled Cru Beaujolais offers a layered, medium-textured taste of ripe cherry flavors, tart acids and earthy stone fruit notes. There are subtle hints of baking spice and a charming brightness that lingers into the finish. This pick is great with a goat cheese salad.
$23, Cambridge Wine & Spirits
Famille Perrin, Côtes du Rhône Villages, 2012
Produced with organic grapes by the family that makes the legendary Château Beaucastel Châteauneuf du Pape, this wine features red pepper and wild berry flavors. Creamy in texture and medium to full in body, it has a mellow fruit profile that makes it a perfect match for grilled burgers.
$16, Blanchards Wines & Spirits, Boston
Sandy Block is a master of wine and the vice president of beverage operations for Legal Sea Foods.