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Seattle Kitchen: How to enjoy red wine in the summer

Many people think red wines should be reserved for heavy dinners full of steak and potatoes, but many red wines are not as heavy can be enjoyed all day long. (

As a fan of red wine, Seattle Kitchen host Tom Douglas is on the hunt for reds to drink in the summer.

Red wine, which is typically served at room temperature, is a little heavier than white wine and doesn't always sound the most appealing in the heat of the summer months. But the owner of Pike and Western Wine Shop has some recommendations that are light enough to enjoy sipping even in the summer sun.

Pike and Western owner Mike Teer says that, just because reds aren't typically chilled, you shouldn't be afraid to cool it down.

"If it's 80 degrees outside, you do not want any of your red wines, especially if they're higher alcohol, to be 80 degrees. You will lose all the fruit and just get all the volatile alcoholic elements," says Mike.

He recommends putting the bottle in the fridge to get it down to a temperature around 65 degrees. If you're outside, he says to go ahead and use an ice bucket, and to add some cubes to your drink.

Tom Douglas says that adding ice cubes into the wine glass provides the added benefit of spreading out wine consumption.

"If you want to drink all day, throw some cubes in there," says Seattle Kitchen Show contributor Katie O.

Choosing a red with a little lower alcohol content is also wise, considering the effects of the heat. Mike suggests trying a wine with an alcohol content of around 12 or 13 percent. The alcohol won't have such a quick effect.

Teer explains that Washington wines of a 2010 vintage will be a little lower alcohol volume because the year had a cooler growing season. When grapes are grown in a hot climate, the sugar in the grapes convert to a higher alcohol content.

For reds that are light enough for the summer, Teer suggests grabbing a Beaujolais, Burgundy, Cabernet Franc or Pinot Noir for your next summer get-together. Just don't forget to keep it cool.

Seattle Kitchen can be heard on 97.3 KIRO FM on Saturdays at 2 p.m., Sundays at 10 a.m. Available anytime ON DEMAND at


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