Feel the thrill of the chill with this super selection of cool light red wines for late summer

Nusrat Ghani

Reds are frequently drunk too warm and whites too cold, which means you will miss out on some of the wine’s complexity and aromatic interest.

On a warm day, pop a bottle of red in the fridge for 20 minutes before you wish to crack it open. Avoid heavy, oaky and tannic wines – head instead for juicy, fruit-driven styles, with minimal oak and low tannins.

In the summer warmth, even full-bodied reds (restaurant or wine bar staff please take note!) should be chilled fleetingly if they are much above 18°C.

For your late August summer drinking pleasure and – should the sun re-emerge from behind the clouds – Bank Holiday BBQ, I recommend four delicious chillable red wine treats below.

When the weather’s hot, they will all love a ten-minute dip in the ice bucket or a half-hour sojourn in the fridge. You’ll notice straightaway how much zippier and fresher they taste. Anywhere between 10-16°C is fine; you want your bottle to feel cool, not frosty, to the touch.

So try these summery reds chilled down to a more taste bud-thrilling temperature…

1) Supermarket Steal – A Juicy, Light-Bodied Bargain ‘Glouglou’ Beaujolais From Aldi
2018 Pierre Jaurant Limited Edition Beaujolais, Burgundy, France (Aldi, £4.49, 13%)
A sappy, light-bodied summer red, ideal for chilling, for under a fiver? Look no further! Nimble non-Cru Beaujolais is one of your ice bucket’s best red wine mates. Indeed, it’s virtually impossible to think of a more ideal summery bottle than red Beaujolais. This has the characteristic medley of juicy redcurrant-cherry and red summer-pudding fruit flavours, light tannins and fresh acidity for which the early budding/ripening gamay grape is celebrated. Punching above its weight and perfect served cool on a warm day (ideally say 10-13°C from a carafe), Aldi’s sappy, giveaway bargain Pierre Jaurant Beaujolais non-Villages is bang on for a scrumptious supper of coq au vin, sausage and mash, roast chicken with new potatoes, cod with lentils or swordfish steaks and it gets my summer party vote. Très gouleyant (easy-drinking) and especially good sipped with cold poached salmon and a salad or a plan or cheese omelette. Outrageous value for money. Drink sooner rather than later.

2) Succulent, Crunchy, Brightly-Fruited Beaujolais Bargain From Tesco
2020 Tesco Beaujolais Rouge, Alliance des Vignerons de Beaujolais, Burgundy, France Tesco, £5, 12.5%)
Inexpensive chilled picnic (even in the rain) wine ahoy! If you like cooling, thirstquenching, unoaked bargain reds with moderate alcohol and hardly any tannin at all then look no further. This Tesco bargain is the perfect cheap-as-chips Indian Summer red, with lashings of zingy, silky red cherry, redcurrant and strawberry fruit alongside wisps of earth and graphite, followed by a seductive violet-scented finish. Serve chilled on hot days to enhance its thirst-quenching fruit. Super fine on its own, it’s also the sort of everyday French bottle you’ll want to have at your table all summer long and it’ll chill perfectly for brie, camembert, charcuterie, grilled duck, Indian dishes, quiche, roast pork, chargrilled salmon and even Kentish cherries. Simple, yet extremely effective. Chapeau, Tesco! Just ignore the slightly boring label…

3) Aromatic, High-Altitude, Late-Ripening Bobal From The Eastern Boundary Of Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
2019 Extreme Organic Bobal, Altolandon, Manchuela, Spain (Co-op, £10, 14%)
Spain is one of Europe’s most mountainous countries. As elsewhere, many of its most excit-ing wines come from regions situated at high altitudes where average temperatures are lower and striking contrasts exist between both winter and summer and day- and night-time temperatures. Manolo Garrote and Rosalía Molina established their vineyard in 1999 and launched their first vintage (just 5,000 bottles, compared with 150,000 per year now) in 2004. Their vineyards, located on a plateau surrounded by mountains in the village of Landete in Cuenca, east-central Spain, are among Spain’s highest (1,100m). Droughtresistant, thick-skinned, unevenly ripening bobal is Spain’s fourth most-planted grape variety and widely grown in the southeast of Spain. Here you can expect vivid notes of sappy black fruits, herbs, violets, red cherries and raspberries, together with well-managed tannins, a silky texture and a convincing, lengthy finish. Trademark lively acidity gives energy to this charming, crunchy wine. Served very lightly chilled on a warm August day, it’d be a great match for paella or mature hard cheeses.

4) A Pale Red Must-Try Late Summer Greek Treat
2020 Kompsos Liatiko, Karavitakis Winery, Crete (The Wine Society, £9.95, 13%)
What a fabulously tangy, bright and bouncy leftfield purchase from the über canny, reasonably rookie, Wine Society buyer Matthew Horsley! Made from the local, dark-skinned Cretan liatiko grape in the far north-western tip of Greece’s southernmost land, some 25km west of Chania/Haniá, this captivating, pale and lithe red sings with pungent cherry, raspberry, floral and spicy aromas that should appeal to fans of nebbiolo. But the similarity with the renowned grape of ageworthy Barolo ends there since here the acidity is moderate and the tannins are soft and ripe, even in its youth. Pure and beguiling, its texture is a silk brocade; pour it after a short spell in the fridge and be smitten like me. A lovely wine with a Greek salad accompanied by skewers of barbecued lamb souvlaki. Buy a bottle and have a liquid holiday this late August. Stin ygeiá sas! Get it.



2020 Buenas Vides Criolla Grande, Argentina £5.99 Aldi

2020 Incanta Pinot Noir, Romania £6.49 Majestic mix 6

2019 Cantine Paolini, Frappato, Terre Siciliane, Italy £9.25 The Good Wine Shop

2020 La Madone Gamay Sur Volcan, Côtes du Forez, Massif Central, France £12.95 The Wine Society – organic & biodynamic

2017 Gaba do Xil, Mencía, Telmo Rodríguez, Valdeorras, Spain £13.20 £15.30, bbr.com and vinvm.co.uk

2020 Chinon ‘Les Granges,’ Domaine Bernard Baudry, Loire £16.95 Lea & Sandeman

2018 Albourne Estate Pinot Noir, West Sussex, England £17.99, GrapeBritannia – many unoaked English Pinots are perfect served cool for chilled-out late summer sipping



One of the world’s most famous rum cocktails, the Mai Tai was born in 1944 when San Franciscan Tiki God, gentleman bartender, rum apostle and coarse rumour-monger Victor Jules Bergeron (aka ‘Trader Vic’) tested it on some friends from Tahiti who were visiting his restaurant in Oakland, California.

Apparently, he had a bottle of fine Jamaican rum and made a comparatively straightforward mix. When it was served, a pal cried “Maita’i roa ae!” – Tahitian for “Very good” (or “The best”). The name stuck and ta-da, a classic was created!

Back home last year, Didsbury Gin owner Alderman’s Drinks moved into punchy, bold rums with the launch of Arlu, born from expertly sourced Caribbean rum imported from Guyana’s award-winning Demerara Diamond Distillery, then adoringly blended with unique natural flavours and spices in the heart of Manchester.

These newly-launched premium rums are available in three flavours from Arlu Rum, and also a ready-to-drink (RTD) format in 250ml cans (also listed by Booths).

Raise a toast to ‘Trader Vic’ by mixing your own Arlu Mai Tai…


50ml Arlu Blood Orange Rum (£22.95-£22.50, Master of Malt & Arlu, 50cl)
25ml lime juice
1tbsp Cointreau
1tbsp grenadine
1tbsp almond syrup (this orgeat recipe really makes it)
2tsp sugar syrup
To garnish: An umbrella and a blood orange slice on the rim


Shake all ingredients together in a shaker with ice. Fill a tumbler glass with ice and strain in the mixture. Garnish with a slice of blood orange on the rim.

More information at arlurum.com

And follow the following hashtags on social media on Monday:
#WorldMaiTaiDay and #CaribbeanBornManchesterMade

Follow James on Twitter @QuixoticWine 


Picnic Photo: © Andrey Kurguzov/dreamstime.com
Ice Cubes Photos © Valentyn75/dreamstime.com

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