Which Wines to Drink as Summer Comes to a Close

How to handle the wine situation at your warm-weather alfresco fete

Here’s exactly how to handle the wine situation as warm weather and sunshine-filled days lead into crisp autumn evenings in the Hudson Valley.

A warm September means extending your summer experience as long as possible, and what better way than dining outside? While choosing your al fresco menu can be relatively easy (quick-grilling burgers and shareable snacks, please!), what about choosing your wine? Debbie Gioquindo, a Certified Specialist of Wine and the blogger behind Hudson Valley Wine Goddess, says it comes down to matters of versatility and quality control.

Because they’re served chilled and are often on the lighter side, white wines are usually touted as an ideal warm-weather wine. Gioquindo suggests choosing a white that’s clean and crisp, like an Albarino, a bright and zesty wine that hails from Northeast Spain. “It’s not overly acidic, but you can taste some salinity from the ocean,” says Gioquindo. “Overall, it’s a well-balanced, fresh, and exciting summer wine.” For the ultimate warm-weather wine, however, think pink: According to Gioquindo, Rosé is definitely the go-to sip. With complex layers, light tannins, and unassertive fruity undertones, these pink wines deliver a well-balanced versatility.

And red-lovers needn’t fret—Gioquindo says going the red route is still okay, too, “especially if you’re going to a BBQ and you don’t know what you’re having.” Grilled burgers, ribs, and fattier meats are great with red wine. Like your other summery selections, the key is to choose something that’s versatile (like a light-bodied Malbec), or opt for a red that tastes good chilled as well as at room temp.

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What’s most important to consider is guarding your wine from outside elements. Exposure to heat, high humidity, or a prolonged time in the sun can easily spoil anything worth drinking. “Don’t hesitate to throw your wine, even reds, in the cooler for transportation to a barbecue,” says Gioquindo.

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