Feeling hot, hot, hot? Well, so are we but we still want our wine. We’ve picked out 15 summer-friendly wines good for both that a dastardly hot day or a steamingly-humid one.

As Singapore enters into its hottest season of the year – traditionally the months of June, July and August, with soaring daytime temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius and short rain showers that only succeed in turning the country into a giant sauna – it’s usually time to ask ourselves some questions. They could be soul-searching ones like “Would global warming make our weather worse in years to come?”, imagination-fuelled ones such as “When will our government finally turn the under-utilised Singapore Flyer into a massive fan to cool the country?”, or something as mundane as “What wine should I drink on this stupidly-hot day?”.

We already have the answers to the first two questions – yes and never, respectively. Here at Spirited Singapore we’ve tried answering the last with our guide on summer drinking a couple of years back.

But we’ve decided to revisit the topic and have put together a list of wines that we can all enjoy even on the days that are so infernally hot outside that you can fry eggs on car hoods. Here are 15 wines to help you cool your hot summer.

summer-friendly wines

Bubblies are always welcome on a hot day, mainly because they are generally served as cold as possible, but also because sparkling wines tend to combine a refreshing mineral backbone and a fruity palate that appeal to most drinkers.

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva

The Segura Viudas Brut Reserva is a cava, a sparkling wine from Spain made using the traditional method similar to that for making champagne. This is made with a blend of Macabeo, Parrellada, and Xarel-lo grapes – all classic cava grapes – and thus quite a good representation of what to expect from high-quality cava.

Expect a melange of tropical fruit and citrus notes on the palate, with a fresh clean and dry finish. We love that this Brut is fresh enough for drinking alfresco on its own, yet sufficiently complex to pair with a meal.

Distributed and retailed online by: Hai Choo Wines

Poulet & Fils Cremant de Die NV

Cremants are sparkling wines in France made using the traditional method for making champagnes but outside of the Champagne region. This non-vintage cremant hails from Rhone Valley-based Poulet & Fils and made under the Cremant de Die appellation, which means it’s made from Clairette, Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and Aligote grape varieties.

This is a Rhone summer captured in a bottle, redolent with peach, apricot, cream, and honeysuckle notes. This Poulet & Fils Cremant de Die NV may be a lush and sweeter example of a cremant, but this bubbly is not too sweet that it’s overbearing on a warm day.

Distributed and retailed online by: Raison Wines

Richard Rottiers Manganese Method Ancestrale

For oenophiles the Richard Rottiers Manganese Method Ancestrale is interesting in so many ways. For one this sparkling red wine hails from Beaujolais – which is not common in these parts – with Domaine Richard Rottiers being based in specifically within Moulin à Vent, one of Beaujolais’ ten crus. And then it’s vinified from the Gamay grape, more commonly used in the production of still reds such as the ever-popular Beaujolais Nouveau, than made into a sparkling wine. It’s also made using the ancestral method, the oldest way of making sparkling wine. The organic winery and its vineyards too are located on a rich seam of manganese that would give a different mineral profile to its wines (and lending the name to this particular expression).

This delicate bubbly, low-alcohol wine – it clocks just 8.5% ABV – is like an alcoholic version of sparkling Ribena; it’s rife with berry and cassis fruitiness.

Distributed by: WEA Wines

Voyager Estate Project Sparkling 2016 Chenin Blanc

Voyager Estate is one of the eminent wine producers from the Margaret River wine region, and famous for making some of the best Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon to come out of Western Australia. Then there is its “Project Wines” series, which is an exploration of grape varieties and wine styles outside of its core range. This Project Sparkling Chenin Blanc is one of those.

Made using the traditional method, this expression is vinified with hand-harvested grapes sourced from their best Chenin Blanc vineyard. Elegant and complex with citrus and bready notes like the best champagne, this classy wine is perfect to wash down oysters with.

Distributed and retailed online by: Hai Choo Wines

summer-friendly wines

Dry, crisp white wines are always going to be winners during warm summer days, since heavily oaked Chardonnays or sweet Muscat wines aren’t exactly going to help quench heat-induced thirsts.

Ninth Island Tasmania Riesling 2018

Some of the most underrated wines from Australia hail from Tasmania, and this Riesling from Kreglinger Wine Estates’ Ninth Island line is a great example. It may employ the aromatic Riesling grape but embodies more of a bone-dry, yet fruit-forward modern-style than its sweeter and more luscious continental counterparts or those that possess of a steely mineral backbone.

This easy-drinking Riesling – in fact you’d be inclined to chug this pretty quickly – blossoms with a melange of fruit in green apple, stone fruits and orange citrus, supported by hints of musk and mineral. It’s good for a meal on a muggy, warm evening, and better paired with seafood.

Retailed online by: Vinomofo

Barramundi Chardonnay Viognier 2017

We dig how Australian winemakers love to push boundaries. This wine from Victoria-based Barramundi Wines is unusual in that it combines two grape varietals that are seldom paired together, but here creates an amazing synergy that helps it punch above its weight (and price point).

It uses the neutral grape that is Chardonnay to provide notes of pear and apple and texture to the wine, while the aromatic Viognier adds tropical pineapple and apricot as well as a curious savoury backbone that keeps you salivating. We’d imagine this fruit-forward wine would work rather well during the warm humid lull after a tropical rain squall, or simply paired with a roast chicken dinner.

Distributed and retailed online by: Hai Choo Wines

Julien Schaal Riesling “Nature” 2016

Also another dry Riesling, this time from Alsace. Julien Schaal is best known for producing some excellent Alsatian Grand Gru Rieslings, and this particular more entry-level expression made specially for Vinomofo is a most fabulous introduction to Rieslings from that region (without the accompanying sticker price shock).

Reisling is indigenous to Germany (and Alsace, for a number of times in its history, was part of Germany) and this wine exhibits how Riesling thrives so well in that cold continental climate. Here’s a dry wine that smells like dessert – it’s a delicate and and sensual palate of lemon meringue pie, with a touch of candied ginger.

If you’re looking to BYO a bottle of wine to sweat it out at the nearby hawker centre over chicken rice, this is it.

Retailed online by: Vinomofo

Tar & Roses Pinot Grigio 2018

If you’re a fan of more luscious, rounded white wines and want some texture and mouthfeel without heading into oaked Chardonnay territory, this Pinot Grigio from Victoria, Australia-based Tar & Roses may be just the thing you’re looking for.

Tar & Roses is a progressive winery that combines New World winemaking techniques with Old World grape varietals, and they make this alluring wine from the grape that has its spiritual home in Alsace in a modern style. Sourcing fruit from the warmer climes of Victoria means that the wine exhibits fruiter overtones – ripe pear, sweet citrus and nectarine held together with a fresh acid backbone – as opposed to its acidic, more mineral counterparts from Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia region or Alsace, for example. This is what you want to drink at a backyard barbecue over grilled chicken or seafood.

Distributed and retailed online by: Le Vigne

Judeka Frabianco Vendemmia 2016

Founded in 2007, Judeka is a young winery project put together by a bunch of passionate young folks who wanted to make a difference in Sicily’s winemaking scene. The Frabianco is arguably their most popular wine; what’s particularly interesting is that it’s a white wine made from a red grape, the Frappato.

Judeka describes this as a “combination of the aromatic bouquet of typical of white wine and the elegance of red wine”, and they’re absolutely on the money. There’s bright Meyer lemon and fresh peach on the nose, plus additional stone fruit on the palate with a slight mineral bite. It’s also naturally lightly sparkling on the tongue, which helps to cleanse your palate… and make you want to drink more. You won’t need food for this one, and you’re likely to finish the entire bottle yourself.

Distributed and retailed online by: Wine Concierge

summer-friendly wines

We’re of the opinion that rosé wines are highly-underrated and totally under-appreciated in Singapore, and we wonder why. They are really perfect summer-friendly wines, being both clean and crisp to refresh the palate and soul, yet complex enough to be paired with a wide variety of Asian dishes.

Matua Pinot Noir Rosé 2017

Like most of its counterparts from the Marlborough winemaking region of New Zealand Matua is best known for making the Sauvignon Blanc – arguably the grape that made New Zealand wine famous – but it does make other wine styles as well. Its Pinot Noir Rosé, for example, is similarly suitable for high summer.

Unlike its Pinot Noir, which is vinified from grapes sourced from Central Otago further south, this rosé employs grapes from Marlborough itself. We’re looking at vibrant fruit flavours of currant, strawberry, cranberry and peach, backed by crisp, mouth-watering acidity. There’s just that slight caress of tannin to let you know this isn’t a white wine. We’d totally have this on a warm day by the pool while watching the kids frolic in the water.

Distributed by: Treasury Wine Estates/Platinum Wines and Spirits
Retailed at: Cold Storage, NTUC Finest

Handpicked Wines x Romance was Born Rosé 2018

Yarra Yalley-based Australian winemaker Handpicked Wines has continued with its partnership with award-winning Australian fashion label Romance Was Born by launching another limited-edition vintage of their collaboration rosé. In fact this wine is part of Handpicked Wines’ Spring Summer 2018/2019 Collection, a line-up of lighter style fine wines perfect for summer drinking. Which is totally what we’re looking for.

This wine is vinified from Pinot Noir grapes sourced around Yarra Valley and also sees the juice fermented on Viognier skins to add texture and complexity. The result is a slightly more luscious style of rosé; you’ll find juicy red fruit character backed by hints of savoury spice from the Viognier. This is going to be a dream with many Asian dishes such as Thai som tum, Balinese babi guling or Filipino lechon (roast suckling pig).

Distributed and retailed online by: Malt & Wine Asia

Pierrick Harang Le Petit Balthazar 2017 IGP

If you prefer more intellectual rosé, this rosé will recite prose to you. Pierrick Harang is based in Pays d’Oc in the south of France, an area which produces the majority of the country’s IGP wines. But don’t let the IGP tag sway you; it’s not indicative of poor quality. In fact here it’s quite the opposite!

For his Le Petit Balthazar line the young winemaker from Brittany makes an interesting rosé with Cinsault from Languedoc (one of the region’s most important grape varietals). This is a berry basket of a wine; the bouquet and palate is full with strawberries and blueberries, backed by an overarching acidity for balance. At 11% ABV it clocks a little lower in alcohol compared to most wines, and those watching their weight will be happy to know this comes in at just 87 calories per glass.

Distributed and retailed online by: Wine Concierge

Gold Trees South Australia Moscato 2016

We’ll be honest and say we aren’t too familiar with the provenance of this wine – mainly because it’s a white label brand – but sometimes when you just want to chug some sweeter vino you don’t particular care who makes it or what it’s made from.

The Gold Trees South Australia Moscato is essentially pink moscat; unlike most rosé it’s on the sweeter side. Expect notes of tropical lychee, nectarines and peaches, along with light floral undertones of rose petals and honeysuckle.

Distributed and retailed online by: Icon Wines

But let’s say you really, really want a red wine even on a blazingly hot day. We’d call you crazy but we’ve been guilty of irrational indulgence ourselves, so here are a couple of reds that could just work.

Little Eden Pinot Noir 2017

Little Eden is based in the Murray Darling region smack between New South Wales and Victoria in Australia, and is a progressive winemaking outfit making some New World wine styles. This Pinot Noir is an excellent example; Pinot Noir is generally grown in far colder climes, so its sunny, warmer weather is set to bring out fruitier notes from the grape but less acidity – and thus capacity – for aging. What does this mean? It means you should drink this now, now, now.

Indeed this modern Pinot Noir exudes vibrant fresh fruit notes in black cherry, plum and boysenberry, supported by a touch of cocoa and tonka bean. It eschews the wet earth and forest floor of classic Old World pinot for a slightly dusty tannin structure and a silkier texture.

Distributed and retailed online by: Hai Choo Wines

Fou du Roi Le Temps des Cerises

Based in Languedoc-Roussillon, Les Temps des Cerises is the domaine of German-born winemaker Axel Prüfer. Those familiar with natural wine would be familiar with Prüfer; he’s been described as “the darling of the natural wine bar movement”. Indeed the young winemaker goes to extraordinary lengths to make organic wine with as little intervention as possible.

This Fou du Roi – the Jester – is made from a blend of Grenache Noir, Cinsault and Carignan and is vibrantly fresh from the process of carbonic maceration. There’s huge cherry and cranberry on the nose that extends to the palate, a strong mineral backbone and tannin structure to hold it all together. And there’s definitely that light barnyard zing characteristic of many a wine that’s been touched by minimal intervention. 

We wouldn’t recommend you drink this on its own; instead have this with roast duck, deli meats or cheeses. A plus: it weighs in at only 12% alcohol so it won’t weigh down your palate and raise your body temperature by too much on a warm day.

Distributed and retailed online by: Cogito Wines

So there you go, 15 summer-friendly wines for our hottest season.

But really – we still need to convert the Singapore Flyer into a massive fan to cool us all down.

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