Wine Line: What's the best red for the summer?

06/12/2012 9:09 PM

06/12/2012 9:10 PM

A reader asks, "Can you recommend some red wines that are compatible with summer weather, and is it OK to put ice cubes in red wine?

"I like red wine, however, I lose my appetite for it when the weather warms up," he continues in an email.

I'd suggest seeking out light reds like pinot noir and chilling them to about 60 degrees before serving. Also look for 2010 or 2011 dry rosés and chill to about 50 degrees (or colder). They are yummy and have the classic watermelon-strawberry aromas that make those hot summer nights tolerable. And, if you want, throw in a few ice cubes.

Three consistent pinot noirs readily available and all under $10 are McManis, Concannon and Bogle. For pink wine suggestions, read on.

8th annual Pink Out

My partner (part-time editor-navigator and full-time wife) and I drove to San Francisco on May 8 for the Rosé Avengers and Producers' (RAP) Pink Out. This is an international group of winemakers and wine drinkers dedicated to righting the wrongs done to dry rosé.

We tasted about 25 newly released rosés paired with Pan-Pacific appetizers from Butterfly restaurant. Rosé should be fun and the Pink Out was just that.

My favorite was from Dashe Cellars, an East Bay winery.

Keep the first Tuesday in May open for the 9th Pink Out. Get you tickets early, have fun and wear pink.

First Pink Off

I put together a four-bottle flight of Old World rosés from Italy, Spain and France and a four-bottle flight of new world rosés from California. We invited a few friends for a barbecue and a blind rosé tasting. We had a great time. Here are the results:

The favorite in the first flight was a non-vintage Incanto rosé from Italy. It's called frizzante because of the bubbles left after fermentation. It's $5.99 at Trader Joe's.

Second went to Chateau de Campuget ($10.99 at Cost Plus), followed by La Ferme Julien ($4.99 at Trader Joe's) and Marques de Caceres ($5.99 at Trader Joe's).

The top rosé in the California flight was Lee Family Farms, made by Morgan Winery. This wine, available at the tasting room in Carmel for $16, was the first wine emptied.

The other wines were Navarro Mendocino ($12 by mail), Josephina Paso Robles Rose ($4.99 at Trader Joe's) and Matchbook Tempranillo ($11.99 at Raley's). The chilled pink wines, the great food and the conversation made for a perfect evening. I look forward to next year's Pink Off. Cheers!

Cool wine events

We like to head to the ocean when the valley heats up. Here are two interesting Central Coast wine events. The Central Coast Oyster Festival at the Morro Bay Golf Course is June 16. Tickets are $20. Go to www. CentralCoastOysterFestival. org.

The other event is the Chardonnay Symposium in Santa Maria, a three-day celebration of the 100th birthday of America's favorite wine, June 29-July 1. Go to thechardonnaysymposium. com for more information. Have a great summer and stay cool.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Find me on Facebook or at

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