If medium- to full-bodied red wines are your favourite tipple, you don’t look forward to hot summertime weather because they can come across flabbier than the auditions for next season's Biggest Loser.

While no wine likes heat, the deeper, darker flavours of most reds lose their complexity when served with even a hint of warmth. Truth be told, the thought that a red wine should be served at the room temperature of a modern home is baloney. When that old chestnut was thought up, they were talking about the room temperature of a house circa the 18th century (so more like 10 - 18°C).

Lighter reds are the best choice this time of year. Not only do they have more juicy fruit flavours, they really shine when poured with a bit of a chill (as cool as 10°C). Those from France’s Beaujolais region top my list of go-to summer wines, with the Georges Duboeuf 2008 Beaujolais-Villages ($13.00 - $17.99) a textbook bright-berry sipper that's well-balanced and very barbecue-friendly.


The Italians often serve their lighter reds with a right-from-the-fridge chill, with the Bolla 2008 Valpolicella Classico ($13.00 - $15.25) a cherry-infused easy-drinker that pairs perfectly with pizza and pasta.

- Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.

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