While beer and white wine spritzers might be de rigueur for the warm Oklahoma summer, some people simply do not like the total conversion from the intricate, full-bodied red wines that typically accompany winter and heavier, heartier foods.
But appropriate lighter reds abound.
Rosé wines are not to be confused with blush wines, which are sweet, simple and generally loathsome to wine drinkers. Many rosés are refreshing and dry, served well chilled, and nicely accompany barbecue. Tip: Availability varies dramatically. Make sure you communicate your desire for a dry, refreshing red, lest you end up with the horror of “white zinfandel.”
Beaujolais is an underappreciated red wine ideal for the summer, with a light body, high acidity and low tannins. It’s refreshing and works with many summer food flavor profiles. Tip: Duboeuf Beaujolais Village is easy to find virtually anywhere, is inexpensive and its soft fruity undertones and crisp finish work well for dinner off the grill.
Rioja is Spain’s quintessential red wine, made mostly from Tempranillo grapes. It’s classified by age into four categories, and it’s important, for a summer wine, to opt for a Joven (youngest category variety). A two or three year old wine should be light and refreshing, crisp and a good accompaniment to light grilled and spicy foods. Tip: Availability varies, but most shops will have rioja.