Summer Wines We Love

It’s time to put away the hot cocoa and mulled wine because we’re discussing our favorite part about summer: summer wines!

So fill up your ice bucket and get ready for easy-drinking summer sippers.

Here are our favorite wines to pair with those sweltering summer days.

Summer Red Wine

To kick off our list of best summer wines, we’re breaking out some chilling reds that can be paired with a range of hot-weather foods and aperitifs. 

Pinot Noir

Light-bodied yet full of complex cherry flavors, raspberry, and forest floor notes, Pinot Noir is the perfect pairing for sauteed mushrooms, smoked salmon, beet and feta salad, and anything on your summer charcuterie board, especially brie!

This light red wine is perfect for summer soirees, as it is earthy, fresh, and a great complement to those heartier summer appetizers. 

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is our winner for the ultimate summer barbecue companion. Heavier than Pinot Noir with a burst of tannins, this rich wine with deep blackberry flavors is heavy enough to stand up to burgers, steak, and baby back ribs. 

A quality Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect wine for evening meals on the back porch or under the stars. 


If you love shrimp cocktails and fresh salmon, Rosé is one of our favorite summer wines to pair with shellfish and light salads with vinaigrette.

With sweet red fruit notes and vibrantly crisp citrus flavors, Rosé is ideal for sipping as an aperitif in the sunshine or with light chicken, fish, and vegetables.


A light-bodied red wine with high acidity and low tannins, Beaujolais is famous in France’s eastern region for its delicate mouthfeel and bright flavors of tart cherry, raspberry, and cranberry.

Its low alcohol content and fruit flavors scream “refreshing summer drink,” so we had to add it to our list. 

If you’d like to add a fancy atmosphere to your garden party, grab a Beaujolais and pair it with poached salmon, roast turkey, smoked ham, and almond cake.

summer wine pairings we love

Summer White Wine

When you think of summer wine, you might instantly think of a bright white wine with lots of acidity and floral and citrus notes. We couldn’t agree more. After all, the perfect white wine can taste like sipping on sunshine. 

Now without further ado, let’s get into our favorite summertime whites.

Pinot Grigio

This medium-bodied white wine with stone fruits like pear and lush nectarine will enhance any pasta salad. For warm pasta dishes, pair Pinot Grigio (or Pinot Gris) with salt and pepper noodles with cream sauce. 

Pinot Grigio’s floral and honeysuckle notes will be a lovely addition to fruit and chicken salads. If it smells like a fresh bouquet, you can’t go wrong with white wines like this as a summertime staple. 

Sauvignon Blanc

Full of citrus, passionfruit, peach, bell pepper, and fresh-cut grass, Sauvignon Blanc is an easy pick as a favorite summertime wine. 

This white wine is perfect for a warm day aperitif or roasted vegetables like asparagus, squash, eggplant, and brussel sprouts. 

You also can’t go wrong by pairing a fresh and vibrant Sauvignon Blanc with salads topped with citrus fruits and dressings. 

Chenin Blanc

Famous in France’s Loire Valley and South Africa, Chenin Blanc bursts with honey aromas and zippy acidity, making it an ideal pairing for fresh ceviche, buttery lobster, and fattier meats like pork. 

If you have a rich seafood dish in the tropical sunshine on a breezy beach, reach for a light, crisp, dry Chenin Blanc. We promise it’s a match made in heaven!


With a perfect balance of sweetness and intense notes of peach and apricot, Riesling is great for all things hot, including those sweltering summer days. Because it’s so sweet, this rich wine perfectly complements those spicier dishes. Try a glass of chilled Riesling with spicy Thai food like curry. 


On the sweeter end of the spectrum, a high-quality Moscato has just the right amount of sugar and is quite versatile for pairing. With fresh floral aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle, peach, pears, and lemon, this sweet summer wine tastes excellent with spicy chicken wings and Mexican food. For dessert, think apple pie, chocolate-covered strawberries, peach cobbler, ice cream, and creme brulee. 


Speaking of buttery cuisine, a crisp and buttery Chardonnay tastes decadent with lightly seasoned chicken and fish. Its high acidity and medium to full-bodied complexity allow for versatile pairings. Depending on the type of Chardonnay, you can pair this golden white wine with creamy pasta dishes and toasty, decadent desserts. 

A good rule is that if your Chardonnay has citrus and tropical fruit notes, pair it with lighter meats and salads. 

If it’s somewhat vanilla and buttery, pair it with heavier meats and seafood like pork and lobster. For dessert, don’t shy away from the pie!

Sparkling Wine

Last but certainly not least, sparkling wines must be on our top choice list of summertime wines. Refreshing to the palette, bright and bubbly, sparkling wines taste decadent with fresh fruits and berries, buttery fruit pastries, brie, chocolate, shrimp, and smoked salmon. 

From dry to sugary sweet and white to red, sparkling wines like Prosecco, Lambrusco, Champagne, Sparkling Rosé, and Lambrusco Rosso are versatile as a dessert wine or light summer dish pairing. 

Think “Fresh” for Summertime Wines

When choosing a refreshing summer sipper, you’ll never go wrong with a lighter-bodied wine with bright stone fruit, floral, and citrus notes. But a few medium to full-bodied selections also made our list, like the versatile Chardonnay.

Sparkling wines are also a sweet choice for summer sipping and will brighten up any backyard event when paired with lighter desserts and meals. 

Shop our crazy affordable, delicious wine selection just in time for summer. 

For more seasonal wine lists and other helpful wine tips, visit The Insiders Blog.