High summer wine

We bid farewell to July and anticipate August. We are in the hottest days of the year. High summer. The dog days. Wine strategies:

1. Drink light, likely white, but not necessarily.

2. Drink rosé, an ultimate summer wine that also works all year around.

3. Other varietal suggestions: dry Riesling, pinot grigio/pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, albariño, sparkling wines (especially rosé). Go for high acidity, dry, crisp, clean.

4. Cold, at least chilled. This applies to red wine, too—there are red wines made to be consumed cold/chilled. Even traditional reds can be refreshing sipped chilled if you are in shorts and a tank top.

5. Lower alcohol. Higher the alcohol, more “heat” you perceive.

6. Don’t be embarrassed to plop an ice cube in your wine. Helps with the chill, dilutes the alcohol (see suggestions 4 and 5).

7. Think plastic cups or cans when you are outside, especially in the pool, on a dock, deck, patio, porch, boat.

8. Screw corks, go with twist tops. Easy peasey picnic play. If you must go with cork closures, open the bottle in advance.

9. Don’t think outside of the box, drink wine from the box. Alternative packaging no longer means bad wine. And boxed wine is eco-friendly and works well in a Yeti cooler.

10. Hydration, hydration, hydration. Drinking water, particularly in summer heat, is vitally important. Literally vitally important: dehydration can kill you. Alcohol dehydrates. Drinking water at the same time you are drinking wine is a best practice all year long.

Rich, heavy, high alcohol wines work in summer if you have a great HVAC system, but one of the joys of wine is pairing with the changing seasons. It is high summer. Soon enough we will substitute sweat for sweaters, long days for long nights. Enjoy the now.

Tasting notes:

• Famille Perrin Côtes du Rhône Réserve Rosé 2019: Thirst-quenching delight. Medium body, silky in the mouth. $11-14 Link to my review

• Anselmo Mendes Contacto Alvarinho, Vinho Verde, Monção e Melgaço 2019: Surprising alvarinho with complexity and depth thanks to the skin contact. $15-20 Link to my review

• Rabble Rosé Wine 2019: Strawberries dominate this classic summer sipper. $15-25 Link to my review

• Long Meadow Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley, Rutherford Estate 2018: Light, vibrant, refreshing. $18-23 Link to my review

• L’Ecole No. 41 Grenaché Rosé, Alder Ridge Vineyard, Horse Haven Hills 2020: Fresh, bright, fulsome with tasty red fruit. $20-22 Link to my review

Last round: Summertime life hack: There is no stronger sunscreen than sipping wine while sitting inside, away from windows.

Email: wine@cwadv.com. Newsletter: Newsletter link. Website: gusclemensonwine.com. Facebook: Gus Clemens on Wine. Twitter: @gusclemens