Wine on ice
If you like red wine and you like summer barbecues, you'll know they don't always mix well. It doesn't take long for shiraz to warm up to body temperature if it sits in the sun – or on a really hot day, in the shade – and body-temperature shiraz is nobody's friend.
But if you plunge your bottle of shiraz into a cooler along with the seltzers and spritzes and no-lo proseccos (see below) that everyone else has brought, it's too easy to forget about it and end up with fridge-temperature red.
While some light pinots and gamays might be nice to drink a bit chilled, really cold red wine is blech.
So here's a tip. Yes, make sure your shiraz (or grenache, cabernet or whatever) stays out of the sun as much as possible, but rather than putting the bottle in ice to keep it cool, chill your glass down before pouring.
Grab a handful of ice cubes from the cooler, swirl them around in a smallish wine glass for half a minute, chuck the cubes back in the cooler then pour a slug of red. The wine should stay cool enough for long enough for you to enjoy it properly before you need to repeat the process.
Wine three ways
De Bortoli isn't the first winery and it won't be the last to jump on the new-wave grenache train – all aboard! – but it's one of few making three different shades of wine from the grape.
Currently available is a juicy, spicy red, a pale, dry rosé and a perfumed, textural "grenache blanc" (red grenache's white sibling), all from the 2020 vintage and all around $22. debortoli.com.au
Wine from Sicily
Feudo Arancio is a reliable wine producer from Sicily that I've long thought offered good value. But at $20 a bottle (less if you order by the case direct from the importer), the winery's 2020 Grillo, a refreshingly lemony white with lovely grape-pulpy texture, is an exceptional buy. singlevineyards.com
Wine with none
Good no- and low-alcohol wines are like buses: you wait forever for one to arrive and then a bunch turn up at once. The latest to impress is a pair of proseccos: Brown Brothers Ultra Low Prosecco ($20) is a bit more wine-like and round-tasting; while the Plus & Minus Prosecco ($15) is fresher and tangi
Who Champagne JM Seleque
What Solessence 7 Villages Extra Brut
Why Stunning example of a small-scale "grower champagne" with great complexity and refined minerality.
How much $95
Where imported by cellarhand.com.au
Max Allen is an award-winning journalist and author, who has written about wine and drinks for close to 30 years.