What Are the Most Refreshing Wines to Drink This Summer?

The juicy red wines you'll be reaching for all season long are made with a technique called carbonic maceration.

Summertime calls for sun-soaked days, delicious cookouts, and evenings spent sipping great glasses of wine. When you head to the wine shop in preparation, try branching out of the usual summer wine routine; it's time to forget the chardonnay, pinot grigio, and rosé in favor of something different. Not sure what else to buy for warm-weather drinking? We've got you covered with a selection of new and interesting wines to drink this season. We're declaring it the summer of carbonic maceration, and it's going to be delicious.

3 glasses of wine and a bowl of green olives
Bryan Gardner

Drinking a red wine on a hot day might sound crazy, but we're not suggesting a traditional cabernet. Instead, ask your wine shop for a wine made using carbonic maceration. Carbonic maceration is a winemaking process that creates low tannin, low color wines with tons of juicy, fruity flavors. Not only does this winemaking process make refreshing wines, but it also results in wines that have a lower alcohol content, typically around 12.5 percent ABV. They're perfect for sipping poolside or enjoying after a day in the sun. Most commonly, you'll find the grape variety gamay, a cousin of pinot noir, being made through full or partial carbonic maceration, but a few winemakers are having fun by using other varieties. These wines can come from all over the world and are ready to be enjoyed now.

Red wines made by carbonic maceration are food-friendly but also can be enjoyed by themselves. Read on for our picks, then get a bottle or two, an ice bucket, a few glasses, and good friends and try this great new summer tradition.

The Beaujolais region in Burgundy is most famous for gamay, and these wines are typically made using full or partial carbonic maceration. The winemakers at Louis Jadot are regarded as the experts on this method. Try an easy drinking version made using partial carbonic like the 2019 Louis Jadot Beaujolais Villages ($12.99, wine.com). It's dry with ripe fruit and delicate florals and is delicious sipped poolside or on the deck with a cheese plate or seafood.

Las Jaras Wines from Mendocino, California, makes a blend of zinfandel, carignan, and petite sirah called Glou Glou ($29.99, wine.com). It's fruity and has an incredible label design that makes it a perfect addition to your table or to give as a gift. You may also recognize one of the owners and winemakers of Las Jaras: actor and comedian Eric Wareheim!

If Italian-inspired food is on the menu, another great wine to try is the 2020 Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches Carbonic Sangiovese ($22.99, wine.com). The grape sangiovese found fame in Italy but is now being grown all over the world. In this bottling from Santa Barbara, the grapes were made using carbonic maceration for an extra little zing of tartness and acid. You'll taste flavors of fresh red berries, cherries, lychee, and pomegranate when sipping on this wine.

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