4 Light Reds for Summer: Alternatives to Rosé | Palate Club

4 Light Reds for Summer: Alternatives to Rosé

Find the right red for summer

Rosé all day…and in the stores, at the park, in everybody’s glass- but is it always right at the dinner table?

Rosé can offer great versatility for food pairing due to its inoffensive, approachable body. It’s never too tannic but has nice texture and weight like red wine. It’s refreshing and fun, but not the only answer to summer’s heat.

While rosé rarely outshines the food, a great pairing should make the dish even better. Sometimes what you need to a meat-heavy bbq, roasted veggies, or whatever other summer flavor may make its way to your dish.These lighter reds offer something with more structure than a rosé without weighing you down. Try them at cellar temperature or even with a slight chill- around 50F – with your next meal!

1. Beaujolais
In between Burgundy and the Rhône Valley in France sits the low mountains of Beaujolais. Made with the Gamay grape, these wines are known to range from simple and fruity to complex and spicy. They usually are light in tannin and alcohol with signature red fruits on the nose, making them them easier to pair with lighter summer dishes.
1. Mencía
A grape with black pepper and prickle fruits, racy and bright on the palate, Mencía is making a name for itself. It comes all the way from Northwestern Spain in Galicia in the special region of Bierzo. This region is wetter than most of Spain, so the grapes are less subject to the intense heat that characterizes many of Spain’s high-alcohol red varieties.
1. Lambrusco
What could be better than a dry, bubbly, red with a slight chill? The perfect companion to aperotivo or hors d’ourvers, this unique style hails from Central Italy. It can also be sweet (unfortunately this is most of what made it to the US Market in decades past), so be sure to look for Secco from Grasparossa di Castelvetro DOC, Sorbara di San Croce DOC, and Lambrusco Montalvano DOC.
1. Zinfandel
Full bodied and fruity with black pepper on the nose, zinfandel’s sometimes tannic and high-alcohol is toned by a slight chill. Its smoky/sweet nature loves BBQ (with or without the sauce) but is also works for chocolate, watermelon, or campfire.


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