The rise or fall of the thermometer has a powerful influence over our choice of wine for an evening with friends.
If you’ve wrapped the scarf twice around and pulled on your coat, then odds on you’ve grabbed a bottle of red. But if you’re shimmying out the door in a singlet sans-jacket, then you’re probably toting a chilled bottle of white.
The pressure to conform to the seasonal expectation of friends makes the “reds for cold days, whites for hot days” unspoken rule difficult to overcome.
Why don’t you shake things up a little, and spring a surprise on your fair (and foul) weather friends and bring along a wine for all seasons.
At a sweltering outdoor gathering replete with the obligatory array of barbeque food as well as a smorgasbord of salads and a rapidly melting bucket of ice, ditch the insufficiently chilled Chardonnay and break out a bottle of Beaujolais. Made from the Gamay grape and served slightly chilled, this incredibly drinkable and more-ish red pairs nicely with barbequed fare and has enough acidity to give you a burst of freshness on a hot day.
A perennial Summer favourite is of course, Rosé. With a slew of options, it is possible to select a light fruity Rosé for summer, or a dry savoury bottle for winter. Such an easy drinking (and resurgently trendy) drop is perfect for the in-between seasons when you need to be prepared for any type of weather/cuisine eventuality. Curry on a hot autumn night? Then Rosé to the rescue!
And what about Champagne? It is literally every season’s friend. We love a bubbly to celebrate all occasions. In the southern hemisphere it is synonymous with end of year get-togethers and hot Christmas parties. We drink it at home, or at a fancy restaurant. It’s not out of place après-ski and wouldn’t be frowned upon if you were to uncork a bottle in front of the fireplace as an aperitif.
While Chardonnay may not be the best choice sipped tepid on a hot summer’s day, it truly comes into its own in the colder months. The complexity and depth of great Chard makes it the perfect partner to the rich and hearty food we favour during the winter season. Similarly, a full-bodied Pinot-Gris or Gewürztraminer are the ideal companion to a medley of braised vegetables, casseroles or stews.
Rain, hail or shine, there really is a wine for every occasion. It’s time to throw out the imaginary rule book and eat, drink and be merry – regardless of the season!