Summer is Wine-ing Down

People with wine glasses by water

Summer may be winding down, but mother nature still has the heat and humidity cranked all the way up. Whatever you’re drinking right now, you want it chilled – and if you’re drinking wine, you’re probably defaulting to white wine. While white wine is always a good choice in the heat of summer, the choices for chilled wines are so much broader than we’re used to thinking.

Generally speaking, the best wines for summer – the ones that lend themselves well to being chilled – will have low tannins and be fruit-forward. Chilling the wine will enhance those fruity flavors and dull the tannins even more, leaving a wine that is smoother and more approachable.

Whites: Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio

We just said that there’s more to chilled wines than whites, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t include one or two. Both Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio tend to have a citrusy flavor profile, though the Sauvignon Blanc throws some herbaceous notes in as well. Both have light bodies, meaning they’re more refreshing to drink, and white wines have lower tannins as a rule. Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigios pair well with salads and seafood. Really, the best white wine for summer comes down to how you feel about herbal flavors.


It feels like rosé came out of nowhere in the last decade or so to dominate the wine market. While that may not be entirely based in reality, rosé’s very real rise to fame owes some thanks to its versatility in the middle of summer. It’s light and refreshing, meant to be served chilled, and great to have on hand at cookouts because of how well it pairs with grilled foods.

Reds: Lambrusco and Gamay

Either Lambrusco or Gamay could be the best red wine for the summer, depending on your tastes, what you’re pairing them with, and what your plans are. They’re both fruit-forward reds with low tannins, but they have little else in common.


Typically a sparkling or semi-sparkling red, Lambruscos are refreshing by nature. Chilling the wine brings forward the red-berry and floral tastes, but as a red wine it’s still a good companion to barbecue, pizza, and spicy cuisines.


Gamays have a lighter body and tend to have a stronger acidity (which, it turns out, is a good thing!). Chilling the wine will actually bring out the acidity, helping balance the wine’s red-berry and cherry fruit notes. Like rosés, Gamays pair well with cookouts – think roasted chicken, grilled veggies, and light pasta dishes. 


This isn’t technically a type of wine, but it is a super refreshing wine mixer that just screams days by the pool or brunch with friends. Sangria takes a bit more work than chilling the wine and pouring a glass, but it’s almost certainly worth it. Sangria is infinitely customizable to your taste based on what fruits you toss in, making them a consistent crowd-pleaser. We recommend using a fruity red wine, like Rioja or Merlot, to get your Sangria started.


No matter what you’re looking for, we're here to help you at the Tap on Ponce. Our expert staff in Midtown Atlanta can help you narrow in on the right wine for you, whether you want to enjoy it in the summer heat or the chilly AC; whether you want non-alcoholic wine or you want to try something totally different from what we recommend.

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Category: Wine