The case for red as the perfect summer wine.

Okanagan Crush Pad Narrative Red 2014 $20

I know we don’t know each other, but I’m here to tell you that your red wine is too warm. And while technically your kitchen at 5:45 on a sunny May day is “room temperature,” it’s not the room temperature that’s specified for serving red wine. That’s more like a cool, windowless room in your basement. (Think any room in your house where you’d be uncomfortable in shorts—that’s the room for room temperature.)

But on top of this, there are some red wines—gamay, bardolino, beaujolais, basic pinot noir, zweigelt—that actually lend themselves to an even colder presentation, especially in the summer months. As in dunk-them-in-an-ice-bath colder. These wines’ main traits—light and fruity—can turn to thin, sloppy and unfocused when served too warm. The key here is selection: a bottle like OCP’s Narrative, which is a juicy blend of gamay and syrah with very light tannins, takes the cool like Steve McQueen, whereas a more structured take on gamay (Blue Mountain or Haywire, for example, where the nose and subtlety are more important) should stick with the aforementioned room temperature. Fire up the ice buckets!

Want more wine picks? Check out our wine recommendations here!