Here at Advintage HQ, we’re big fans of a hearty red and in our book there’s nothing quite like an inky, full-bodied Aussie shiraz or a grippy cab sauv paired with a sizzling cut of ribeye steak. But on days when the sun is shining and the bbq is cranking, sometimes something a little lighter and less complex tickles our fancy.
Though it may sound strange, the concept of chilling red wine is nothing new. Some red wines are intentionally made in a lighter style that benefit from being served at a lower temperature which showcases their fresh, fruity aromas. In fact, many red wines are often served too warm and white wines served too cold. (For more on this topic, check out our Common Wine Myths Busted blog.)
So with temperatures rising and summer finally under way, we’ve put together a list of our juiciest and most moreish summer reds for your sipping pleasure.
Available from $24.99
This charming, juicy little number has truly been made with summer sipping in mind. Te Mata Estate’s Gamay Noir is full of soft, ripe summer berry fruits and gentle fleshy tannins that make for seriously easy drinking.
Bright, refreshing and silky smooth, it’s the perfect wine to start the evening with. There are also some subtle spicy notes that make it a great match for moderately spiced dishes or tapas. Think barbecued chicken drumsticks with a spicy jerk glaze or chilli beef tacos.
Available from $32.99
When the lawns have been mowed, the kids have gone to bed and the evening is hot and sultry, a glass of this delicious and juicy red should be your go to. Swift Wines’ Gamay Noir 2022 is bursting with crunchy red fruits and bubblegum aromas. With a lively acid backbone, it’s seriously refreshing and dangerously moreish.
The ripe red plum flavours of this wine will pair perfectly with crispy duck pancakes and plum sauce, venison carpaccio or a grilled tuna steak and salad. Too easy.
Available from $22.99
Here in Hawke’s Bay, we’re blessed with long, hot and sunny days that make the region perfect for ripening red grapes. Decibel’s Giunta Malbec Nouveau has been made in a lighter, fresher style than Hawke’s Bay red is generally known for - think of this wine as a cross between Hawke's Bay Malbec and Beaujolais Nouveau and you're on the right track.
It’s proudly middleweight and approachable with plush and juicy fruit on the palate, but still showing some underlying hints of Malbec's famous savoury drive. Pair with pulled pork and a smoky barbecue glaze, or grilled lamb rump and a flavoursome chimichurri salsa. Very smashable. We can guarantee you’ll be back for more.
Available from $24.99
Esk Valley's Artisanal Gamay Noir is the ultimate anytime wine, perfect for summer nights and everything in between. The Artisanal range allows celebrated winemaker Gordon Russell to make interesting, small batch wines that indulge his personal preferences rather than being driven by the market dynamics. This single vineyard expression takes fruit from the famed Two Terraces vineyard, with gentle hand plunging and large format oak maturation making for a light, fragrant and yet deliciously satisfying wine.
With bright notes of red currant, raspberry, cherry, plum and hints of herbs and wood spice, this is a seriously versatile food wine. Try paired with roasted chook and Mediterranean vegetables tossed through with fresh herbs and feta cheese, or with duck liver parfait and cranberry sauce on fresh, crusty bread. Dive in.
Available from $15.99
Ah, Riunite Lambrusco! The lightly effervescent Italian red wine with a kiss of sweetness that is still trying to throw off its somewhat tarnished reputation from the 1980s. Yep, that’s one heck of a hangover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqnYHzEc7H4 But we’re not ones to judge here at Advintage (hey, we all got up to some mischief once upon a time) and we’ve managed to get over the Aussies making sparkling shiraz so we’re willing to give Riunite another chance. It’s fresh, fun, fruity and fizzy and from just $15.99, it deserves a spot in any chilly bin or picnic basket. Pizza is an absolute winner with this easy drinker - we highly recommend Alessandro’s Salsiccia Piccante pizza loaded with pork-fennel sausage and hot calabrese salame. It’s a sure-fire Advintage staff favourite – you’ll thank us later.
Available from $32.99
Calling all the funky young things! Natural wine and Pét Nat are fast becoming buzzwords among the younger wine drinking scene, and this fresh and zingy offering from Hunters hits the spot. It’s got plenty of juicy cherry and rhubarb characters that make this lightly sparkling drop seriously moreish. And with its easy-to-open crown seal, it’s perfect for an impromptu day on the beach.
The slightly savoury notes of this wine make it a great food match. It pairs well with the delicate umami flavours of salmon sushi but will also stand up to something meatier like a burger. Or, for your less carnivorous friends, try serving with vegan nachos and plenty of guacamole. Undeniably supercool.
A note on Lambrusco...
Lambrusco, meaning ‘wild vines’ in Italian, refers to both the sparkling red wine made in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy, and the family of red grapes that Lambrusco is made from (with Lambrusco Salamino being the most widely planted). Grapes have been plated in the region as early as 160BC but Lambrusco rose to international fame during the wine boom of the 1970s.
A note on Pét Nat…
Pét-nat, or "pétillant naturel" roughly translates to "naturally sparkling" in French. Wines are produced using the Méthode Ancestrale technique, which is the world’s most ancient method of producing sparkling wine. The wine is bottled and capped with a crown seal before the primary fermentation is finished. The yeast continues to ferment the sugars, producing carbon dioxide which results in a lightly sparkling wine. Unlike Champagne, which is subject to many rules and regulations, Pét-nat wines can be made from any varietal of grapes and can be white, red or rosé in colour and often slightly hazy.