As Kermit the Frog - or anyone within the Beltway can tell you - drinking heavy reds in the humidity of a swamp in the summer is not always the most pleasant. So what is the wino to do during the summer months?
First, anyone who "only drinks reds" needs to shut up. Obviously, everyone has their preferences, but to shut out three quarters of wine available is just absurd. Be open-minded to whites, rosés and sparkling wine. When it's 95 degrees out with 80 percent humidity, do you really want to pour that thick, jammy Zinfandel? Try some wines you wouldn't other. Not only will you likely be surprised, but they will actually be refreshing and enjoyable.
Second, be willing to try pink wine. White Zinfandel has done more to destroy the otherwise good name of rosé than we may ever know, but those willing to try these oft-maligned wines will be not only surprised, but become fans. Every year I feel like Sam-I-Am on this topic and every year, there are a couple of converts who admit that rosés are much better than they thought. For those skeptical about trying rosé, Rosé d'Anjou is a great place to start. Made predominantly from Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley, these light, crisp and dry rosés are perfect for everything from a BBQ to a day at the park. And at $8.00 - $12.00 for a decent bottle, they are French, pink wines that won't break the bank.
When it comes to whites, Sauvignon Blancs are the perfect for the summer. Even though New Zealand has put these wines back on the map, I prefer the ones coming out of Chile, Bordeaux, the Loire and the domestic ones. These all tend to be less intense with respect to the gooseberry and citrus flavors that the New Zealand ones have, yet still have the balance and crispness that make these wines so perfect for the summer.
Finally, there are sparkling wines. Not all sparkling wine needs to be champagne, nor does sparkling wine need to be for a special occasions only. Spanish Cava is great this time of year. Not only are they crisp, complex and refreshing, but they work in any budget and are versatile enough to go with just about anything.
Any of these options work extremely well during the summer months - and with Virginia Viognier still coming into its own, and more producers making dry rosés - there are plenty of local options for grat wine to drunk during the summer as well.