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11 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Wine This Summer

Tip number one: drink it.

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1. Netflix and chill your wine.

Different grapes and wine blends have different sweet spots when it comes to the perfect serving temperature. While the quickest way to chill a wine is via an ice bucket, you might not have one of those laying around. Knowing how long a sparkling wine needs in the fridge (around five hours), compared to what experts recommend for a Cabernet Sauvignon (around 45 minutes) can really make a difference.

Here's a great cheat sheet with recommendations of how long to chill your wines for, depending on if you're using the fridge, freezer, or an ice bucket.

2. The cold never bothered reds, anyway.

Many red wines are best served slightly cooler than room temperature. For bold reds, like a Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon, an hour in the fridge before serving should be perfect. For lighter reds, like a Pinot Noir, you can take it to an even lower temperature. It can handle it!

3. If you don't have time to chill, grab a damp cloth.

If you're in a rush to chill a wine, wrap a damp cloth around the bottle and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes, or the freezer for 15. Don't believe me? Just ask Martha.

4. Use frozen grapes instead of ice to cool your wine down.

It works exactly like ice cubes BUT doesn't dilute your drink when it melts, AND you get a boozy snack at the end of your drink. You can also get reusable ice cubes or whiskey stones, but that takes away the fun of saying "it's like a salad!" to your drunk friends.

5. If you can't pick between red and white with dinner, go rosé.

Rosé wines are super easy to match with food. From burgers, to chicken, to fish, you'll literally be looking through rose-coloured glasses with almost any meal. Here's a super helpful guide for what types of rosé go with what types of food.

6. Make sure to pair your wines with the right cheeses.

It all comes down to personal taste, obviously, but when pairing wine and cheese there ARE a few things to consider. Cabernet Sauvignon goes great with an extra sharp cheddar, bringing out the bold flavours in both, while a Sauvignon Blanc pairs nicely with something softer like Havarti.

There are thousands of charts and resources for pairing wine and cheese but the best way to really know what works is to experiment!

7. Speaking of food-friendly, you can't go wrong with Riesling.

Great with spicy food, grilled food, shellfish, sushi, the list goes on. Riesling is a beautifully versatile grape that will almost never let you down when paired with a meal.

8. Look low... alcohol content, that is.

Sounds fake, but it's true! The best drops on a hot summer day are lighter wines with an alcohol percent of around 10-12%. And hey, the lower the alcohol percent, the more you can drink, right? That's just science.

9. There's cool, and then there are wine coolers.

Wine coolers are part sangria, part spritzer, and entirely delicious. They're also a brilliant way to transform even the cheapest bottle into something damn tasty! Here's a great guide to do just that!

10. Think outside the box(ed wine).

Using cheap wine in cocktails is the perfect way to cool off in the summertime while still enjoying a tasty drink. There are tons of ways to make a cheaper drop taste incredible, the only limit is your imagination!

If you're really stuck, Sangria is ALWAYS a winner with either red or white wine. Simply chop up some fruit, add some ginger ale or lemonade, and you've got an instant easy cocktail!

11. Don't forget to sparkle.

Sparkling wine is a summer staple. From its versatility of appropriateness (you can drink it at 10am and it's just a part of ~brunch~), to the tons of great cocktails it lifts, and with ranges for every price range, from a cheeky cheap sparkling, a nice Prosecco to the fanciest champagne, summer is always better with a bit of sparkle.