The Best Red Wines for Warm Weather Sipping

With spring in the air and summer just around the corner, it’s time to take your sipping outdoors. Although temperatures are rising, you don’t have to lock your reds in the cellar until autumn. White and rosé may be the go-to choices for warm weather enjoyment, but these reds, served slightly chilled, make for a wonderful alternative, especially for readers who want to enjoy wines with a little more depth. Here are our top red recommendations for warm weather drinking: Langhe Nebbiolo Nebbiolo, Italy’s most famous red grape, reaches its apex in Barolo and Barbaresco. Younger sibling Langhe Nebbiolo is an ideal summertime wine and is especially refreshing when served at cellar temperature, around 55 degrees. Chianti Classico Chianti Classico showcases the purity of Tuscany and the Sangiovese grape beautifully. Brighter, lighter renditions – often those without the influence of new oak – make delicious summertime reds. Frappato From Italy’s largest island, Frappato has gained a following for its light-bodied fruity and floral wines. Bottled on its own, Frappato satisfies with its open-knit cherry flavors, perfect for everyday enjoyment. If firing up the grill, however, for a wine with a little more grip, try those from Cerasuolo di Vittoria, where Frappato is blended with the more structured Nero d’Avola. Chinon Chinon, an appellation for Cabernet Franc in France’s Loire Valley, is the quintessential Parisian bistro wine, and it’s often served chilled. Focused and savory, the wines are quite distinctive, with intense tart berry, earth, spice and pepper flavors. Bourgogne Burgundy yields the wine world’s most expensive reds, but you don’t have to break the bank to find something delicious. In the hands of high quality producers, entry-level Bourgogne bottlings still award everything we love about Burgundy: wines of elegance, nuance, and place. These wines are typically lighter and fruitier than their higher end counterparts, and a natural match for several fresh summer dishes. Beaujolais On Burgundy’s southern end, a different grape is grown: Gamay. Often even lighter in body than Pinot Noir, and less tannic, Beaujolais counts among France’s best red values. The top wines, those coming from Beaujolais’ ten named “crus,” are both relatively affordable and remarkably finessed. For Gamay’s most ethereally delicate expressions, look out for appellations such as Régnié, Brouilly, or Chiroubles. Blaufränkisch Speaking of Gamay, Austria’s second most planted red grape, Blaufränkisch, was long thought to be the same variety – perhaps due to its alias Gamé in Bulgaria. In truth, the grapes could hardly be more different – Blaufränkisch leaning spicier and more dark-fruited in flavor with a richer tannic spine. What Blaufränkisch and Gamay share, however, is a beautifully bright acidity that makes them perfect for warm weather sipping. Bierzo & Ribeira Sacra While Spain’s northwest corner may also birth one of our favorite summer white wines, Albariño, the area also yields some of Iberia’s most refreshing reds. The two appellations to look out for are Bierzo and Ribeira Sacra, both based on the Mencía grape. When done right, these wines can offer extraordinary purity and elegance, as well as some of Spain’s best red bargains. — Bryce Wiatrak Do you have a go-to warm weather red? We’d love to see what you’re drinking! Scan the label or search by name to add your tasting notes on Delectable.

Vietti

Perbacco Nebbiolo 2014

Intense red fruits on nose and palate, some menthol, spices, chocolate, smoke. High tannins, but smooth and silky, high acidity, long finish. Can drink now, but has potential for ageing — a year ago

Chris and Maria liked this

Azienda Agricola COS

Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Frappato Nero d'Avola 2014

If this wine could sing it would fill the air with a brooding, heavy, bass-driven melody with a tenor backing that sneaks in and takes over to finish. Heavy at first, leathery and dark forest, it gradually opens into a more bright and fruit forward drink with red cherry and rich exotic spices. Much more poetic than this description. — 8 months ago

Jillian Varner
with Jillian
Dawn, Bryan and 1 other liked this

Jean-Claude Lapalu

Vieilles Vignes Brouilly Gamay 2013

Rustic and refined. Rough and elegant. Earthy and fruity. Light on its feet. #delicious — 3 years ago

Bill, Jonathan and 8 others liked this

Sottimano

Langhe Nebbiolo 2013

Lara Dunphy Guest
9.0

Gritty, earthy and tannic - it's very young but was still enjoyable. And you can't beat the value. — 3 years ago

Chris and Maria liked this

Arianna Occhipinti

Sicilia Il Frappato 2014

Saman Hosseini
9.1

Delicate red fruits, sage and olives, sous bois. Serve slightly chilled, paired with grilled octopus. Drink now. — 2 years ago

Keith, Anthony and 1 other liked this

Domaine Méo-Camuzet

Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2014

Ruby red with slightly redness. Stewed strawberry/raspberry, red cherry, with hint of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg on the nose; there is a warmth and depth to it, slightly minty with unsweetened cherry syrup on the palate. Slightly plummy with touch of creaminess mouthfeel to it. Med plus acidity and med to med plus body. Opened up beautifully the second day. What a beautiful Bourgogne. — 2 years ago

jesus, Severn and 1 other liked this

Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga

Chianti Classico Sangiovese Blend 2015

Cathy Corison
9.2

Ahh... Chianti. Delicious and affordable. Cherries, cola, earth. Amazing value. — 10 months ago

William martin
with William
Eric, Matt and 44 others liked this

Domaine Bernard Baudry

Les Grézeaux Chinon Cabernet Franc 2014

From the Domaine itself to my table. All I can think is "purple." Purple flowers, purple herbs, purple fruit. Guess that makes this wine royaley delicious. — a year ago

Paul, Scott and 4 others liked this

Guy Breton

Régnié Gamay 2014

An excellent, light bodied Beaujolais. Lush red fruits backed up by herbal undertones. Perfect for light foods that need a refreshing red. — a year ago

Severn and Raquel liked this

Moric

Burgenland Blaufränkisch 2014

Wonderful floral bouquet of candied violets, bright cranberry and pink peppercorn. Intense minerality and acid, but softened after a day. I always remember the freshness and finesse Moric’s wines have on the palate. Very versatile food wine and a benchmark for Blaufränkisch. — 8 months ago

Filippo liked this