Choosing the Right Wine for Your Summer Meals

Choosing the Right Wine for Your Summer Meals

As the temperatures get warmer and the days get longer, you may be looking forward to spending a bit more leisure time with friends and family. One of the things that complements these summer get-togethers is food and wine.

But it’s not always easy to figure out which combinations work best. Before you just guess or make a choice that will mess up an otherwise tasty meal, here is what you need to know about pairing the right wine with your food during these summer months.

Guidelines for Drinking Wine in the Summertime

If you are going to pick out and pair wines during the summer, here are a few guidelines to follow to maximize your enjoyment:

  1. Go for Chilled Options
    During the summertime, the temperature of your wine plays a significant role in your enjoyment. Ideally, white wine should be served between 49 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Red wine can be a bit warmer at a range of 62 to 68 degrees when serving. Chill your wine in the fridge several hours before you plan to serve it.
  2. Seek Out Wines With Moderate Bodies and Tannins
    The body of a wine refers to how it feels in your tongue in terms of strength and heaviness. Tannins are a chemical compound found in wine that is responsible for its astringent sensation. Wines with higher tannins tend to be bolder and heavier, which is why you want something moderate or light for the warmer months of the year.
  3. Opt for Oak Sparingly
    Oak-aged wines can be heavy-bodied with rich caramel and vanilla flavors. Unless the food you are serving calls for such a bold wine, search out options that have not been aged in oak barrels.
  4. Make Sure You Consider What You are Eating
    We often change up what we eat in the summer, and this also calls for some new wine options. A lighter dish should be paired with a lighter wine, and so forth. Fuller-bodied wines can be reserved for heavier dishes like steaks, ribs, and barbeque.

The Best White Wines for Your Summer Meals

The aromatic and crisp to the tart and lively, fruit-fragrant, white wines have a definitive place at the summer table. Here are some of the best white wines for summer and the ways you can pair them with popular dishes.


Staring with a popular white wine, but also a challenging one for summer, Chardonnay has a subtle nature that can be easily overwhelmed. It can be impacted by strong flavors, so it’s a good idea to choose your food pairings carefully.

Pairs well with:

  • Cheese-filled charcuterie boards
  • Creamy pasta dishes, such as alfredo
  • Roast pork or chicken

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile wine and the perfect choice for your next barbeque. It pairs incredibly well with a variety of dishes. The wine is acidic, creamy, and spicy, but pay attention to the different flavor profiles to choose your favorite.

Pairs well with:

  • Roasted and grilled vegetables
  • Sushi
  • Spicy or citrus-flavored dishes

Pinot Grigio

Depending on the region, the flavor profiles of pinot gris can fluctuate substantially. Because of this, make sure you investigate the different varietals before making your choice.

Pairs well with:

  • Grilled chicken and vegetables
  • Shrimp cooked with lemon and garlic
  • Boiled or grilled lobster


Rieslings are a highly acidic and fruity white wine varietal that are available in sweet and dry forms. But the wine is an excellent choice for hot days because of its fruity flavor profiles.

Pairs well with:

  • Cole slaw and potato salad
  • Roasted pork

The Best Red Wines for Your Summer Meals

If you are a red wine lover, you won’t have to give up your favorite vintage just because the temps are soaring. Here is what you need to know:

Pinot Noir

A favorite among red wine enthusiasts, pinot noir has a light-body and fruity undertones, making it the perfect choice for summer.

Pairs well with:

  • Grilled fish and meat
  • Pasta with red sauce
  • Fresh bruschetta


There are several categories of Beaujolais to choose from, but they all make excellent summer choices due to their low acidity and juicy undertones. It is also a wine that is meant to be served chilled.

Pairs well with:

  • Quiche
  • Pizza
  • Barbeque


Chianti is an Italian red wine that is popular for its accessibility and simple food pairings. It has an acidic and earthy quality but can be served chilled.

Pairs well with:

  • Burgers and steaks
  • Pasta with red sauce or olive oil

Get the Right Summer Wines for Every Occasion at Nick’s of Calvert

Now that you know all about summer wines and their food pairings, you can get what you need quickly and get back to the business of enjoying your meals. Nick’s of Calvert offers one of the largest selections of wine, beer, and spirits in Southern Maryland – all at the lowest prices.

We carry hundreds of wines, including some super premium selections. Whether you know exactly what you want or need some help making the perfect selection, we’d be happy to help. Contact us today at (410) 414-7105 with any questions or come into our Prince Frederick location to shop today.

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