Our Favorite Summer Wines

As temperatures rise and backyard parties become more frequent, searching for a good summer wine for your occasion can be tricky. 

Whether you’re looking for a refreshing beverage or wine to pair with your barbecue, this is our list of perfect summer sippers for you to choose from. 

Favorite summer wines and pairings

Easy Drinking Summer Reds

To start our list, we’re looking at a few light-bodied and complex reds to enjoy as an aperitif or with a feta burger fresh off the grill. 

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the perfect chillable red as it is light-bodied enough to sip on its own but also a great companion for mushroom dishes, salads, and charcuterie boards. Bursting with ripe blackberries, dark cherries, and an undercurrent of the forest floor, this wine is a delicious complement to barbecue sauce. 

Pair Pinot Noir with a plate of delicious baby back ribs or a feta salad with smoked salmon. 

Cabernet Sauvignon 

Bursting with tannins and more complexity than Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon is next on our list as an ideal summer red. Pair this full-bodied red with steak, lamb chops, burgers, and pasta doused in herbaceous tomato sauce. 

Don’t hold back on the cheese and mushrooms with this delectable red wine


The final red wine on our summer list is a robust, full-bodied red wine that packs the heat for hearty meat pairings. All of our reds mentioned may go well with barbecue, but Zinfandel easily steals the title for best grill companion. With mellow tannins and acidity, Zinfandel goes down smooth with well-done steak, ribs, lamb chops, burgers, and turkey. 

For a veggie option, Zinfandel tastes decadent with eggplant. Make sure to pack the meat in your tomato-based sauce when pairing pasta with Zinfandel. 

Let’s move on to some lighter summer sippers, starting with the bright and crisp Rosé. 

Refreshing Rosé 

Bursting with red fruit notes and crisp floral aromas, Rosé is one of the best thirst-quenching wines for summer sipping. 

Any Rosé wine will be lovely as an aperitif on a hot summer day or as a complement to fresh-cut citrus, strawberries, and feta salads with vinaigrette.

Chicken, white fish, and raw vegetables are also delightful with Rosé in the summertime.

Best white wines for summer

Breezy White Wines to Drink 

Bursting with bright, crisp notes and mineral textures, white wine is the perfect hot weather refresher. These wines are the perfect complement for light summer dishes like fruit and feta salads, chicken, and fish.

Here are some of our top-rated summer white wines. 

Sauvignon Blanc

For light summer salads, raw or roasted vegetables, fresh fish, and citrus fruits, Sauvignon Blanc is a great pairing. This white wine comes in both sweet and savory variations. Many types will be bursting with citrus and tropical fruit notes like passionfruit, while a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, for example, will emit notes of bell pepper, fresh-cut grass, and a hint of spice. 

No matter which varietal you choose, Sauvignon Blanc is always great for summer. 


Bursting with peach, apricot, and a light to intense sweetness on the palate, chilled Riesling is one of the best choices for spicy dishes. The higher the residual sugar content of your Riesling, the more heat it can take. 

Pair a dry riesling with fish and white meats like chicken, salad, or raw vegetables. If your Riesling is sweeter, cook a spicy curry or pair with dessert.

Best white wines for summer Chardonnay

Up next is another versatile white wine, and that’s Chardonnay. Chardonnay comes in both oaked and unoaked varieties, meaning you can sip one that is buttery and creamy in texture or a lighter one bursting with citrus and tropical fruit notes. 

For buttery Chardonnay, rich cheeses and lobster doused in butter will complement its heavier textures. You can also pair oaked Chardonnay with desserts like apple pie—the more butter, the better with this type of Chardonnay.

For lighter Chardonnay with bright citrus and fruit flavors, light salads and meats will be a perfect match. 

Sip Chardonnay on a breezy, salt-sprayed pier with lighter or heavier fish for an ideal setting and flavor complement. 

Pinot Grigio

Ripe with stone fruit flavors and floral aromas, Pinot Grigio is perfect as a breezy aperitif or with fruit salad. Imagine biting into a piece of delicious melon or sweet nectarine. Pinot Grigio is also delicious with fresh chicken, fish, pasta salad, or light summer salads covered in strawberries, walnuts, and lemon vinaigrette. 


Moscato is the ultimate summer white wine with a bouquet of honeysuckle, orange blossom, peach, pear, and lemon. Like Riesling, its higher sweetness level can also handle spicy cuisines like Mexican food or a buttery peach cobbler. 

Pair Moscato with your summer dessert, or drink it as dessert. 

What About Sparkling Wine?

Who can forget the bright, tasty palate cleanser that is sparkling wine? Whether dry or sweet, sparkling wines are the perfect summer sipper as an aperitif or with various foods depending on the type. Sip a lovely Lambrusco, Champagne, Prosecco, or Sparkling Moscato with fresh citrus and berries for a rush of zingy sweetness. 

Best sparkling wine for summerChoosing the Best Summer Wine

Try our favorite summer red, sparkling, and white wines by ordering from Macy’s Wine Shop today!

For more about the wine world, head to the Wine Shop Blog. You’ll find everything from famous wine regions to recipes, food pairings, and more. 

Let Macy’s help you choose your next summer sipper.