Red Hot: Summer Red Wines

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This spa two hours outside of Tokyo boasts a large pool filled with hundreds of gallons of wine, reaffirming everything I learned from the movie Lost In Translation: Japanese people are crazy.

We are deep into the dog days of summer. I really don’t know what that means exactly but I assume it has to do with the fact I start panting after being in my backyard for longer than 30 seconds. Its hot! Like, Al Gore was right hot. And to many, that automatically translates to chilled whites and rosés when it comes to adult beverages. Which I get. If I need to drink something cold, it needs to also help me feel better about being seen in shorts.

But sometimes I just need a red, like when eating grilled red meat or pizza. Also, if I drink white too many days in a row, I begin to feel like a divorcee and invariably find myself on talbots.com.

The key to summer drinking is finding a lighter style red. And I promise I will stop trying to make Lambrusco happen. Here are three hot-as-balls-proof reds to break  the Sauvignon Blanc spell you’ve been under since Memorial Day.

Dolcetto d’Alba

This fruit forward charmer comes from Piedmont in northern Italy. While the reigning grape of the region is monstrous Nebbiolo, Dolcetto quietly sneaks under the radar and the hefty price tag.  While Dolcetto translates to “little sweet one”, don’t expect anything candied about it beyond a hint of bittersweet chocolate on the finish. Medium bodied with dark berry and violet petal notes, these bright wines still have enough structure for a meat lovers pizza or pasta dish. Unless you are from Southern California and spend the summer actively anorexic.

Bourgogne Côtes d’Auxerre Rouge

This is sexy French talk for affordable Pinot Noir. Which is a bit of an anomaly. Burgundian, or Bourgogne, Pinot Noir ranks among some of the priciest wines in the world because its delicious and famous and makes everyone want to have sex. I readily admit Cotes d’Auxerre is not indicative of those other worldly aphrodisiac Pinots. That would be like thinking you’re getting Ryan Gosling when its really Ryan Seacrest. (Guys. He is about 5’2″.) But, like Seacrest, these wines are light in body and a little fruity. Mostly strawberries and a bit of chalky minerality from the limestone soils from which the grapes are harvested, the 2012 vintage by Domaine Goisot typically comes in under $15 and is fantastic when served slightly chilled. You can cheers to the fact American Idol is finally off the air.

Garnacha

The Spanish name for Grenache, this grape’s skin is thinner than a bunch of moms talking about, well, anything regarding their child rearing. This makes it a quintessential summer wine. Medium+ body lush with juicy cherries and a touch of spice, its basically like Penelope Cruz wore a dress made of Red Vines to the Oscars. Elegant, but delicious. And the best part? The price, y’all! These wines are so cheap compared to French or American Grenache-based wines. They rarely go over $12 and today I found a DELICIOUS one for under $8! 2014 Honoro Vera Garnacha is $7.99 when you buy two bottles. Which is great because after two bottles, your slur will basically make you sound Spanish. Don’t let the label scare you. I’m 70% certain that isn’t the girl who crawls out of the TV in The Ring.

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You know what? Fuck it…

Lambrusco

Lambrusco is fruity and effervescent and I love drinking it all August while listening to old Tim McGraw albums. LET ME LIVE MY LIFE!

 

 

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