Most people think of cosy winter nights by the fire and Sunday roast dinners when it comes to red wine. It is sometimes hard to imagine drinking a full-bodied red wine on a summer’s day, but with so many different styles of red wine available there are plenty of options to enjoy. There are some beautiful lighter style reds that ideal to pair with BBQs and Grilled meats. We have a few suggestions to help!

Pinot Noir

This grape variety is grown extensively around the world. Some of the most expensive Pinot Noirs originate from Burgundy, France where towns such as Gevrey-Chambertain and Nuits St Georges are known for producing wines that can be aged for many years. But you don’t need to spend a fortune on a good Pinot Noir. It is a light to medium bodied wine and typically you will get complex flavours of red fruits, such as cherry, raspberry and even some spice and a touch of vanilla if they have spent time in oak. As a guide, French and New Zealand Pinot Noirs tend to be more towards the lighter style. Other New World styles are typically a little fuller and may see some oak (but in a good way!). Chile is making some great and very affordable Pinot Noirs. Likewise the USA is producing some stunning examples too and is getting a great reputation for it.

Don’t be afraid to chill the wine down slightly… us!


Many people think of Beaujolais Nouveau when they hear of Beaujolais. It was a real event in the 80’s and 90’ when newly harvested grapes were fermented, bottled and released just weeks after harvest. Quite often they were terrible quality, but we won’t dwell on that. It still exists today, but we suggest you focus on classic Beaujolais! Gamay (a cousin of Pinot Noir) is the grape variety in Beaujolais, with the latter being the area where it comes from. It’s south of Burgundy and has some fantastic appellations producing some high quality Beaujolais. It is a light red wine, with low tannins and the wine is typically quite pale. You will experience a fruit forward wine and this is definitely one to enjoyed slightly chilled, just like Pinot Noir. You will enjoy flavours of raspberry, sour cherry and cranberry. We find that from appellations such as Morgon and Brouilly you also experience an earthiness to the wine, which may suit those who enjoy a slightly fuller style of Beaujolais. Probably the most famous appellation is Fleurie. It has a reputation for producing some of the finest and most expensive wines in the region. These wines are very elegant, floral and fragrant.


We are taking you off the beaten track with this grape. Mencia is largely grown in the Galicia region in North-West Spain and you won’t find it outside of Spain and Portugal. It is a good wine to try if you like Gamay and Pinot Noir, but it can divide opinion. As well as the classic red fruits such as strawberry, raspberry, pomegranate and cherry you can get a touch of plum and fig and there can be a bitter or peppery note on the finish, which isn’t to everyone’s taste. It is heading more towards medium bodied but there is a minerality to it.


From the Piedmont region in North-West Italy you will find some stunningly beautiful wines. The most famous being Barolo, a wine made from the Nebbiolo grape and intended to age for 7+ years before you open it. Dolcetto on the other hand is more approachable as a youthful wine, with plenty of fruit, such as cherry, redcurrant and liquorice. They have a lovely fresh and elegant style, albeit a touch heavier than the Gamays and Pinot Noirs. Dolcetto d’Albas are worth looking out for as this is the area where you will find the best examples. Another wine that can be enjoyed slightly chilled.

Head to our Red Wine range to check out what’s available. We have a great selection of lighter style reds. Enjoy!

By Al WIghton


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