Food & Drink

8 summer wines to bring every dish to life

Discover the top summer wines from Waitrose that will elevate any dish. From crisp Sauvignon Blancs and refreshing Pinot Noirs to vibrant Rosés, these selections are perfect for pairing with everything from fresh salads to BBQ’s and all your favourite summer meals.

 - 6 Min Read
Last updated and fact checked:
8 summer wines to bring every dish to life
  • Explore the top summer wines from Waitose's Cellar to elevate any dish.
  • Crisp whites are perfect for refreshing summer dishes.
  • Rosés offer vibrant flavours ideal for warm weather.
  • Light reds pair wonderfully with a variety of BBQ foods.

Summer wines: FAQs

  • Which wine is best for summer?

    The perfect summer wine is a crisp, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc. Its zesty citrus and green apple notes make it the perfect partner for hot days, pairing wonderfully with light dishes like seafood and salads. If you prefer bubbles, Champagne is another excellent choice, adding a celebratory touch to any summer gathering.

  • What other wines are suitable in the summer?

    For summer, sparkling wine is a top choice, offering refreshing bubbles that pair perfectly with light dishes. Wines with tropical fruit notes, like a chilled Pinot Grigio, are among the best wines for summer, enhancing the flavours of poultry, seafood, salads, and even charcuterie. Rosé and light summer reds like Pinot Noir are also excellent options, bringing bright fruit flavours that complement barbecue favourites.

  • What's a good summer red wine?

    Pinot Noir is a perfect summer red. It's light and refreshing, with bright cherry and raspberry flavours, making it ideal for warm weather. Red sparkling wines are another excellent choice, offering bubbly effervescence and fruity notes that pair well with a wide array of BBQ dishes, from grilled meats to vegetable skewers.

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Age Times. Commissions do not affect our writers’ or editors’ opinions or evaluations. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, summer invites us to enjoy one of the season's best activities: the BBQ. Whether you’re cooking juicy burgers, smoky ribs, or vibrant vegetables, a well-chosen wine can elevate your summer dining experience.

  1. Paul Mas Reserve Languedoc Blanc.
  2. Mâcon La Carte Cave de Lugny.
  3. Chapel Down English Rosé.
  4. Bird in Hand Pinot Noir Rosé.
  5. Reyneke Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot.
  6. No.1 Foundation Cederberg Syrah.
  7. Valdo Elevantum Prosecco DOCG.
  8. Lanson Black Label Brut NV Magnum.

We've put together a guide to the best summer wines and their perfect food pairings to make your barbecues truly unforgettable this season.

Crisp Whites

1. Paul Mas Reserve Languedoc Blanc

A top spring and summer favourite for its crisp, zesty character and refreshing acidity, this wine has hints of white peach, flower blossom and citrus. It beautifully cuts through the heat of spicy foods.

Picture yourself with a glass of chilled Paul Mas Reserve Languedoc Blanc while enjoying barbecued chicken or prawn skewers; the wine’s bright acidity complements the smoky flavours, creating a delightful balance.

You can also pair it with BBQ tapas. The wine’s acidity and herbal notes and aromas will enhance the diverse flavours of the small bites, making each dish stand out while keeping your palate refreshed.

2. Mâcon La Carte Cave de Lugny

Chardonnay is another excellent white wine choice for summer BBQs. It is known for its light, dry, and refreshing profile.

This particular bottle showcases notes of ripe tropical fruits with a hint of honey, making it versatile and food-friendly. It pairs superbly with seafood, especially fish tacos. The wine’s crispness balances the spicy and tangy flavours, turning each bite into a delightful experience.

Alternatively, serve it with goat's cheese and summer-veg quiches. The wine’s subtle fruitiness highlights the veggies' natural sweetness, making it an ideal companion for lighter fare.

Refreshing Rosés

3. Chapel Down English Rosé

Chapel Down English Rose is a quintessential summer wine with its light to medium body and red summer-fruit flavours of strawberry, raspberry, and floral notes. Its delicate balance makes it a fantastic partner for a variety of BBQ dishes.

Pair it with grilled shellfish; the rosé’s acidity and fruitiness enhance the fish's flavours, creating a refreshing combination. The wine complements the fresh, summery flavours and adds a refreshing touch to the meal.

4. Bird in Hand Pinot Noir Rosé

If you prefer a slightly sweeter wine, Bird in Hand Pinot Noir Rosé is a perfect choice. With its red fruit flavours and a refreshing dry and textural finish, it pairs wonderfully with BBQ favourites.

This bottle goes great with chicken covered in smoky and sweet sauce, balanced perfectly by the rosé’s fruitiness. 

Fruity Reds

5. Reyneke Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

This Reyneke Organic Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend is a fantastic choice for summer BBQ’s, offering a perfect mix of fruity and robust flavours. A medium to full-bodied wine, it features rich tastes of blackcurrant and black cherry.

Its smooth texture and balanced acidity make it a great match for heartier dishes—a juicy grilled steak, for example. The wine’s bold flavours perfectly complement the charred meat. It’s also excellent with beef burgers, where its fruity and spicy notes enhance the savoury flavours, creating a delicious combination that will wow your guests.

6. No.1 Foundation Cederberg Syrah

Syrah, also known as Shiraz, sourced from South Africa, is the main grape used to create this beautifully bold and flavorful red wine that shines at summer BBQs. This full-bodied wine is known for its dark fruit flavours like blackberry and plum, along with peppery and smoky notes that add depth.

The No.1 Foundation Cederberg Syrah's robust character makes it an excellent pairing for rich, intense dishes. It’s a fantastic match for lamb chops, where the wine’s bold flavours enhance the meat's natural richness, creating a truly memorable dining experience.

Sparkling Wines

7. Valdo Elevantum Prosecco DOCG

Prosecco, with its light, bubbly nature and flavours of citrus, golden apples, and acacia, with a hint of honey sweetness, adds a festive touch to any dinner.

During hot weather, a glass of this bubbly pairs perfectly with prosciutto-wrapped melon; the wine’s bubbles and acidity enhance the sweetness of the melon and the saltiness of the prosciutto. You could also throw some peaches onto the BBQ for another excellent pairing, where the wine’s refreshing contrast complements the fruit’s natural sweetness, creating a delightful summer treat.

8. Lanson Black Label Brut NV Magnum

Champagne, the classic sparkling wine, adds a touch of elegance to any summer BBQ. With its fruity bubbles and crisp acidity, Champagne offers a fruity palate and a fine, delicate mousse.

Champagne is perfect for pairing with a variety of dishes during the summer months, from BBQ seafood to light summer salads. It provides a sparkling alternative that can elevate your meal, making every bite taste even better. This makes it a versatile choice that brings a special touch to your summer gatherings.

Tips for a Perfect barbecue and Wine Pairing

Whether you're hosting a casual get-together or an elaborate BBQ feast, the right wine can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to make every al fresco dining unforgettable.

  • Temperature matters: For maximum refreshment, serve white wines chilled (7-10°C) and red wines slightly cool (12-15°C).
  • Think about balance: Pair lighter wines with lighter dishes and heavier wines with richer dishes to maintain balance.
  • Experiment and enjoy: Don’t be afraid to try different pairings and see what works best for you. The key is to have fun and enjoy the process.

With these pairings, you're sure to impress your guests and make your summer meals truly memorable.

Waitrose Cellar provides the ultimate convenience if you don't know what you want or you're hosting people with varying tastes. Try the mixed cases of either 6 or 12 bottles, which have been handpicked by Waitrose’s Master of Wine so all the hard work is done for you and you know you are in safe hands. 

Or, if you want to bring the host a unique gift, consider a beautiful flower bouquet. Waitrose Florist offers a stunning range of summer bouquets featuring clematis, stocks, O’Hara roses, ammi majus, and lisianthus. The vibrant display of colours in these bouquets is sure to impress and delight the recipient!

Cheers to a delicious and refreshing summer!

Image Credit: Matthieu Joannon at unsplash

See More