Maybe I have a seasonal affective disorder, since I always veer away from red wine during the hot months. It's hard-wired into my DNA, and I find it more thirst-busting to lace my fingers around a chilled glass of rosé or white wine when the mercury hits 85. But there are a lot of red-wine-etarians out there and I occasionally desire something ballsier even as sweat drools down my face. Enjoy reds in the summer? Sure. (If you hate reds, check out my suggestions for whites.)
The best way to overcome the summer heat? Chill it.
Most people drink reds too warm. When something reads "drink at room temperature" it doesn't take into account the oppressive summers in the southern U.S. where average indoor air-conditioned temps hover around 75 degrees Fahrenheit. That deceptive two-word description actually indicates room temperature in French wine caves, which feel more like 60 to 65 degrees. But what's the ideal? Above a comfortable 72, the alcohol in red wine rises to the forefront, reminiscent of dollar shots in college. You could store bottles in the fridge, but here's the rub: chill a red too much and the cold steals any semblance of fruit, creating a tannic, astringent mess. To solve that quandary chill your reds down for 30 minutes in the fridge, or 10 minutes submerged in ice water. (More detail on how to chill wine.)