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Best Wine For Day Drinking

AD| Oh, summer–how glorious a time of year. With the sun staying out well into the evening and lazy days spent outdoors, it’s easy to…


AD| Oh, summer–how glorious a time of year. With the sun staying out well into the evening and lazy days spent outdoors, it’s easy to see how wine fits in perfectly. While it might seem that any wine will do, there are some wines that are better for day drinking than others. That’s what we’re diving into today.

Why Day Drinking is Different

There are a few things to consider when drinking outdoors. The first is that you are likely in, at least part of the time, the sunlight. It’s also warm out. Both of these factors mean you are slightly dehydrated. And that means you’re at risk of getting intoxicated faster than other times and you’re more likely to be hungover even if you drink less.

Intoxication is never safe but even the most-responsible drinkers can recount tales of that summer day the wine just hit them differently. If you’d like to avoid an embarrassing situation or day-ruining hangover, there are wines that will help!

Cool Down

Many people don’t know this but there is a very big difference between wine made from grapes grown in cool climates and those grown in warm ones.

When grapes are grown in cool climates, they retain more acidity than those in warmer climates. Acid is naturally refreshing and is why orange juice is so satisfying on a hot day. Grapes also ripen less, meaning they have less residual sugar. Why does this matter? It’s all about the fermentation equation! Yeast eats the sugar in the grape juice and produces alcohol. The lower the grape’s sugar content, the lower alcohol the wine.

Cool climate wines are what you should reach for when drinking wine outside. How do you know if your wine is from a cool climate? If the ABV is under 11%, it’s a good bet. Or grab a wine from Austria, the Alsace region of France or Canada.

Ice, Ice Baby

Wine snobs everywhere will nitpick your wine temperature choice to death, but remember this: drink wines you like at the temperature you like them. That said, some wines are simply better at cooler serving temperatures. Here are our tips.

According to Wines and Spirits Education Trust, sparkling wines and sweet wines are best served well-chilled. Light- and medium-bodied white wine and rosé are best chilled and light-bodied red wines are best lightly chilled. That’s right! Some reds are best chilly.

The key here is the body of the wine. For white wines common bottles best served well-chilled include Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris/Grigio. That said, our favorite to serve super-cold when day drinking are the spritzy wines from Northwest Portugal. You’ll find wines labeled Vinho Verde from the Minho region perfect for ice cubes (quelle horreur!). It’s high acid, low alcohol wine at its most refreshing!

Light-bodied red wines include underdog Lambrusco. This wine comes in varying levels of sweetness (we recommend getting one with a little sugar) and is spritzy. A real treat on a hot summer day. Another perfect red for outside is Gamay. Those labeled “Fleurie” have great floral notes while “Brouilly” is more acidic and “Morgon” is fairly big in flavor. All are gorgeous and it’s fun to try different types–all are best served chilled.

Tips for Drinking Wine Outdoors

If you know you’re going to be spending a day on the water, on a deck or poolside with wine, be sure to drink extra water the day before. Before you switch to wine in the morning get your daily intake or close to it. Once you start drinking wine, be sure to match your consumption of wine with water: that’s right, for every 6-ounce glass, have a 6-ounce glass of water–you’ll thank us later.

Don’t overconsume! It’s best to enjoy low alcohol wines slowly on a hot day to avoid any ickiness. Icing your wine or, if you want something really special, adding a little soda water, is a great way to reduce your consumption and stay your sharpest, too!

Enjoy the Summer with Wine!

As the days stretch and you enjoy all summer has to offer, don’t forget the wine. A rosé is always a great option. For white and red wines, stick to cool-climate wines. These are low alcohol and high acid refreshers. You can’t go wrong with a little spritz, like a Vinho Verde or Lambrusco, which are especially nice with ice. Lighter-bodied wines are less heavy in the mouth, which also makes them a great option. 

Whatever you drink, drink it at a temperature you like, throw in ice cubes or seltzer if you want and enjoy!

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