The Top 9 Red Wines For Summer

best wine in california

Just because it’s hot out doesn’t mean that cheap beer is your only option. Sometimes, you need something a little classier, a little more gentlemanly, (and maybe something a little lower in alcohol than spirits) when you’re drinking. Enter red wine. Rich colors and wonderful flavors can transform any backyard barbecue or a night on the porch with family and friends into a great experience. We’ve collected 9 of the best wines in a variety of price points for you to check out. Buy them all, drink them all—you won’t be disappointed. 

Bodega Numanthia Termanthia, 2011 — The treasure of the Toro appellation and a leader of emerging Spanish premium wines. Termanthia is the ultimate expression of the best vineyard plots in Toro. With vines that are over 120 years old and grown at an altitude of 2,625 feet above sea level, Termanthia is extremely rich and complex, with notes of licorice, truffle, balsamic and spices. For an upscale barbecue pairing option, try suckling lamb. ($205.99

Mario’s Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon — The flagship Cabernet Sauvignon of one of Napa Valley’s pioneering families, Trinchero Napa Valley. The Trinchero family has been producing award-winning wine since the 1940’s and this particular varietal is named in tribute of founder Mario Trinchero. ($60) 

Newton Vineyard the Puzzle, 2013 — A full-bodied, fruity, Bordeaux style blend that is luxurious and complex, “reinventing itself” with each sip. The wine opens with rich aromas and hints of vanilla and spices, and exhibits a velvety explosion of concentrated cherries, blackberries, and strawberries on the palate. Pairs well with hearty dishes such as duck cassoulet, veal or venison. ($125

Tignanello Toscana IGT — The first Tuscan wine blended with non-traditional varietals that created the “Super Tuscan” category. Tignanello is produced exclusively from a 140-acre vineyard site at Antinori’s Tignanello Estate. This intense ruby red color and aromas are characterized by a powerful varietal expressiveness, with ample notes of red fruit, raspberries and licorice. ($99)

Cheval des Andes 2011 — Dark red with purplish tinges, this wine exhibits floral and herbal aromas of lavender, geranium, basil, and mint that are accompanied by gentler notes of ripe plum and chocolate. Fine and lingering on the palate, elegant tannins are balanced with an aromatic finish comprised of black cherries. This hearty, meat friendly wine pairs nicely with a perfectly grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce. ($95.00

Related: Last Minute Father’s Day Beer Gifts

Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir — A light bodied pinot for warmer days and those cooler nights. Pinot’s fruit notes (strawberry, cherry, and raspberry) play well with pork’s favorite flavorings (sweet, savory, and tangy). Also pairs well with salads with fresh berries, salmon or tuna. ($39.99)

Mullan Road Cellars’ Red Wine Blend Bring something slightly new to the table this year when celebrating Dad. Dennis Cakebread’s new wine project comes out of Walla Walla, Washington. A Bordeaux blend called Mullan Road Cellars, this wine can do no wrong, especially when paired with Dad’s favorite BBQ meal. Named in honor of Lieutenant John Mullan, who led the group that paved the first wagon road into the Pacific Northwest through the Rocky Mountains in the late 1850’s, this wine is inspired by Mullan’s motivation and adventurous spirit—something every Dad instills in their children.  ($42)

Mouton Cadet’s Limited-Edition Ryder Cup Selection Wine — Mouton Cadet recently announced its continued partnership with the Ryder Cup as the official wine of the 2016 tournament.  This limited edition blend is not only a palate pleaser, but the bottle also features a drawing by legendary golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Following in the footsteps of his late father, Trent Jones, Jr. has since paid tribute to his proud heritage by designing some of the best golf course layouts in the world. The celebrated architects are the only father/son duo to have both created original Ryder Cup courses, and the site of this year’s tournament holds particular significance to Jr., as it was originally created by Trent Jones, Sr. ($14)

(The following two wines are also paired together in a special gift set.)

The legendary Chateau Cheval Blanc and its South American venture, Cheval des Andes, have come together to create a special edition gift pack – The Heritage Pack. The Heritage Pack includes one bottle of Cheval des Andes 2011 and one bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc 2011. ($750)

Cheval des Andes 2011 —  69% Malbec, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot. Great aromatic intensity with an amazing duality between dark and spicy fruit on the one hand, and freshness, tension, and good natural acidity on the other.

Chateau Cheval Blanc 2011 — 44.6% Merlot, 36.3% Cabernet Franc. Violet and peony notes that make way for raspberry and black cherry aromas. Starts off full-bodied on the palate and becomes quite full, rich, and voluptuous with an interminable aftertaste. The tannin is smooth, silky, and elegant, and the wine is altogether perfectly balanced, with lovely fresh fruit on the finish.