Summer has arrived, and it’s the perfect time to go on a quest for crisp, fresh beverages to cool down. Since my drink of choice is wine (no surprise there), I tend to lean toward finding those that pair well with 80° and above temps, because where I live, they reach well above. But beware, buying summer sippers with a blind eye can cost you.

The So-Called Bargain

For many, the changing seasons means changing preferences in wine. The crave for crisp whites, and fruity rosé wines are inevitable during the warmer months. Retailers are acutely aware of this and flood their shelves with tons of so-called bargains. Placed front and center are whites and rosé wine, piled high for easy accessibility. Both offered in a variety of packaging—cans, bottles, and even boxes—for your convenience. Often, this results in the average wine consumer buying summer sippers, merely grabbing a few wines simply because of the big sale sign perched atop announcing a great value.

This is where buying gets a bit tricky!

Wine preference is subjective, as we all know, and what is considered value is entirely at the discretion of the consumer. While most of us love a great deal, we still expect value for our money. But how do we know if we are actually getting our monies worth out of that bottle of wine?

A Few Quick Tips

Here are a few quick tips that might help you when picking out wines to enjoy during your summer picnics, barbecues, and beach bashes.

Don’t buy wines you’re unfamiliar with on impulse. If there is a considerable size sign waving you in for the fantastic deal, it may mean the wine isn’t selling well—generally, there is a good reason it isn’t moving. Also, America’s largest wine conglomerates have taken over so many wineries that today, they sell approximately 60% of the wines sold in your supermarket and wine big-box wine stores. I highly suggest supporting America’s small family wineries, check out who actually made that bottle of wine on the shelf before you purchase. Thanks to modern technology, by going online, you can quickly get the 411 on most wines.

For help with selecting a good quality wine that fits within your budget, ask for assistance at the store. I prefer shopping for wine at the smaller local bottle shops. Typically, they have quality wines to fit within any budget, and the personalized service can’t be matched by the supermarkets and big box wine shops.

Refreshing Options

Remember to purchase a high-quality dry rosé, the sugars will be low, and the wine’s vibrant acidity will shine through. Also, grab some bubbly—Champagne, Prosecco, and sparkling wine and served it well chilled. Their effervescence adds to their refreshing taste.

La Vieille Ferme Réserve Brut
La Vieille Ferme Réserve Brut

Consider some slightly chilled lighter reds as an option. Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, and Merlot are all attractive options. Be sure to select red wines that have lighter tannins and are fruit driven. These wines will typically pair incredibly well with a variety of summer fare. Often times, you can find some great deals on quality reds during the summer months.

2018 Urban Provence Rose, Côtes de Provence
2018 Urban Provence Rose, Côtes de Provence

Finally, low prices don’t necessarily dictate the quality of the juice in the bottle. Exploring is a great way to discover quality wines at great prices. Just remember, buying summer sippers with a blind eye can cost you a pleasurable summer experience. After all, who wants to find out their bargain buy was a bad buy once the festivities have begun.

Cheers to the summer season!