A Sweet Wine Summer: What Makes Sweet Wine Such a Warm Weather Commodity?

The hot and balmy months of summer are upon us, and with this comes the desire for light and flavorful beverages as beachgoers cook under the sun and partygoers look for a beverage that suits itself well for midday consumption.

Well, when the world is trending toward a state of normalcy, of course.

Regardless, there’s much to be said about our fascination with sweet wine over summer. What makes it such a warm weather commodity?

Let’s investigate!

A Quick Case Study: Rosé

The easiest way to start thinking about sweet wine’s summer presence is with one in particular: Rosé. For a long time, rosé was seen as nothing more than a wine for wine drinkers who didn’t like wine.

Not a great reputation to have.

However, rosé seems to be amidst a resurgence over the past few years, particularly with a younger generation of (legal) drinkers. Maybe it’s the clever marketing, or maybe it’s the drink itself.

Rosé is known for its pink coloring, a result of a portion of the winemaking process known as maceration. This is when the skins of the grapes soak with the juice to produce coloring. In order to make a rosé, the skins are left in the juice for a very short period of time.

The result is the not white, not red, but pink coloring. Already an interesting visual, and one suggestive of a light and flavorful summertime beverage.

It Comes Down to Perception

Rosé’s resurgence also suggests something else; like mead and beer, wine drinking really comes down to perception, personal preference, and experience. While light, flavorful wines lend themselves well to summer sipping, there are also those wine enthusiasts who enjoy a hearty glass of red wine with a grilled steak dinner in July or the post-meal port to finish the evening.

Our seemingly innate desire for something acidic during the summer (classic example: lemonade) also might play a role. Something like a Riesling—oft-describe as one of the upper-level wines when it comes to sweetness—supplies both acidity and a plentiful post-fermentation sugar content.

Moreover, a light wine naturally pairs with light foods. Because summer does tend to be a time for lightheartedness in all aspects of life (think about those light summer meals you’ve had or shared with friends and family), sweet wines act as clear-cut additions to the drinking menu.

What’s your summer choice of drink? Let us know in the comments!