Wine Lists

Cool reds for hot days

By Casey Warrener

Drinking seasonally isn’t all about colour – there are many brilliant styles of red wine that suit the warmer weather. Discover some excellent options for all those coming occasions.

Much like that common refrain “red wine with red meat, white with white,” the idea that crisp whites are for hot weather and reds for cold isn’t necessarily correct.

You don’t need to consign yourself to full-blast air-conditioning to enjoy red wine over the warmer months. In fact, many of the season’s occasions, such as the backyard barbecue and the festive table, will be elevated by the addition of some cool red wines. That said, there are some styles that are more seasonally appropriate, and that a stint in the Esky, ice bucket or fridge won’t hurt.

Looking to lighter and less boozy is a good general rule of thumb, and fresh and fruit-forward styles will also work well. Get started with the suggestions ahead.

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Looking to lighter and less boozy is a good general rule of thumb, and fresh and fruit-forward styles will also work well.

red wine ice bucket
A little time in an ice bucket can enhance certain styles of red wine in warmer weather. 

Fresh and flavoursome reds

If you love bold reds, the good news is you don’t have to sacrifice flavour in hot weather. Fresh and fruity styles – which also tend to be kinder to your bank account, so win-win – can be enjoyable between 15 and 18 degrees during summer. Again, on sweltering-hot days, this will likely mean a quick spell in the fridge is necessary for optimal drinking. Juicy grenache, other Mediterranean varieties, and even lighter shiraz can all work in warm weather when in the right style and served at the right temperature. There are many delicious red blends to draw on, too, such as the increasing number of approachable combinations of pinot noir and shiraz. 

Choose from Halliday Top Rated grenache and blends.  


Light and cool reds

Seek out reds that are light in tannin and alcohol for serving with a slight chill – 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge or kept out of the sun in the top of the Esky or ice bucket should do it.Gamaypinot noir and pinot meunier are some varieties you could try, but winemaking style and environment also play a part. Look for reds at around 12 to 13 per cent ABV and with little to no oak influence. The beauty of these wines is the fact they can work with so many different foods, particularly charcuterie and snack plates that so often accompany a sunny afternoon gathering.  

Choose from Halliday Top Rated pinot noir

Snack plate and red wine
So many lighter styles of reds work beautifully with a range of foods. 


Sparkling reds and rosés

It is the festive season, after all. Shiraz fans can get their fill with a sparkling style that Australia has made its own, which will fit nicely into so many events alongside a cheese plate or glazed ham. It’s not quite red, but other favourites for the season are rosé, which come in so many different styles and are made from every variety, as well as sparkling rosé and sparkling pinot noir, or blanc de noir styles. All are textural and refreshing options that were made for pairing with almost any dish as well as catch-ups in the sunshine. 

Choose from the Halliday Top Rated rosésparkling rosé, and sparkling red

Related article: How to drink red wine in summer