Pouring a glass of Pelee Island Winery red wine VQA into a glass.

Hot days and warm nights. Summer is here. Traditionally, you think to drink your bold reds at room temperature on cozy winter nights. Your crisp whites chilled on hot summer days. We agree that this formula does work but with an escape clause. Are you a lover of red wine and don’t want to give it up as the temperatures climb? We have a few tips for you:

Lighten Up

In warm summer months, choose a light bodied red with lower alcohol content. Tannins, high alcohol and body are all characteristics common in red wine. They are also the factors that make a drink a little less enjoyable when the humidex is high. 

Pelee Island Winery Ruggles Run Gamay Zweigelt VQA red wine grown on Pelee Island, Ontario

Stick with varietals that are commonly lower in tannins and medium body. May we suggest these Pelee Island reds:

Ruggles Run Gamay Noir/Zweigelt VQA – It’s made from the same varietal as the famously easy drinking Beaujolais. 

Pelee Island Winery Monarch CHAMBOURCIN, LEMBERGER, ZWEIGELTVQA red wine grown on Pelee Island, Ontario

Monarch Red – Offers a selection of grapes blended by our master winemakers to create a medium-bodied sipper with amazing fruit on the palate.

Pinot Noir Reserve VQA – Known for their subtle yet complex flavours, they make a great sipper for a hot day.

Pelee Island Winery PInot Noir Reserve VQA red wine grown on Pelee Island, Ontario

Time to Chill

Chill your red wine. Yes, you heard us right. Often, people we meet at wine shows whisper to us in hushed tones that they enjoy their red wine chilled like it is a bad thing. Most sommeliers agree that people serve light bodied reds too warm and that they should be chilled down to 12 or 13 degrees Celsius. We suggest that if you’re in the midst of an EPIC wine region afternoon in Essex County,  you may want to go even a little cooler than that. 

Sparkling reds, such as Lambrusco style, require even more chilling down. Think between 6 to 8 degrees Celsius. 

A glass cooler filled with Pelee Island Winery VQA red wine sangria.

Go Your Own Way

The art of the cocktail and a cool red meet together to form a summer favourite, sangria. They joy of making your own is being able to choose your favourite base wine and manage the sweetness to your own taste.

You can keep it super simple by just adding frozen fruit or frozen fruit and juice ice cubes or master the art of sangria making incorporating local fruit into the mix. 

We like this as a base recipe from Delish Easy Red Wine Sangria

If you go red this summer, we’d love to know how you are enjoying your Pelee Island reds. Tag us on social media @peleewinery so we can offer you back a cheers!


Pssttt… Don’t forget while you’re here to sign up for our Birthday Club and receive a $20 Gift Voucher for your birthday!