Summer Wines: Not just Rosé!

Summer holidays are around the corner for some of lucky people. Are you wondering what’s the best wine choice for light meals or grilled food during those hot summer nights? Or maybe not because you always go for the rosé? Time to break the rules! Read Sommelier Frédéric Duverger’s post and discover a variety of great wines worth tasting.

Summer wine: « Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring », Nancy Sinatra would sang in 1966! And she was absolutely right …. talking about those great rosé flavors we all love!

The sun is here, well at least in the south of France, and you can already smell BBQ, grilled meats or shrimp emanating from the backyards. And of course, lunch or dinner on the terrace, means friendliness, and sharing a nice glass of wine.


Pairing wine with summer food is quite easy though. You’ll probably go 90% of the time for rosé: it is light, fresh and crisp, goes well with veggies, fruits, and grilled meats; but still a few tips to help you with it your selection:

Light meal, always light wine: côtes de provence rosé will be fine with that.

If you go for grilled foods, get a full-bodied rosé (Bandol, Duché d’Uzes or Languedoc)

If you go with fruits, ice creams or sweet desserts: sweet rosé like cabernet d’Anjou will be perfect.

But if you’ve had your fill of Rosé, like me: break the rules! Red and white only!

White wine

A few tips and some examples:

When doing BBQ, it is very often a matter of marinade. When pairing with your wine, don’t forget your marinade: this provides the strongest flavor to the dish and is something we often do here in the south, with a lot of aromatic herbs and garlic of course …

Let’s continue . . .

A powerful meat like lamb, spicy sausage, BBQ Ribs with BBQ sauce will hold a full bodied red wine with spicy aromas from Shiraz grape for example, served chilled though, it is summer and you don’t want the alcohol to hit you straight away.

Seared quid with garlic and virgin olive oil? Go with a crisp and refreshing white wine, but a powerful one because of the flavor of the dish and specifically the garlic.

And why not a light red for the aperitif, a chilled gamay from Beaujolais or a light Pinot Noir would be very appreciated with a fish and some tomato based dish either sauce or vegetable mix (like ratatouille) ;

red wine
Cheese & Wine pairing classes

These are a few tips of what I personally like to drink during the summer months. I also like sparkling wines, but also ice cold Indian pale ale from my favorite brewing company in the south of France: Brasserie de Sulauze, but also what we call the “Pet Nat“: an ancestral method of making sparkling wine –  not quite made like champagne, here the second fermentation of the wine happens in the bottle, which gives a light fizziness more than really bubbles. It is very nice in the summer as it is low in alcohol (often 8 to 10), light body and easy to drink

So now cheers and enjoy your summer!

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