The snowstorm that hit parts of Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana and Colorado last week may have been rare for the month of September, but it served as a reminder that cooler temperatures are just around the corner… if they haven’t already arrived in your part of the world.
That said, here in the Western Hemisphere, there’s still the possibility of an Indian summer ahead. It’s not unusual, between late September and mid-November, for some regions to experience well-above-normal temperatures, just when we thought that summer was over.
I started thinking about the weather and its predictable unpredictability when the question that follows popped up on my computer screen…
QUESTION: It has been a pretty hot summer where we live, so we like to enjoy a glass of wine out on our porch. But I’ve noticed that red wines seem to taste bitter when we drink them outside. Why would this be?
ANSWER: There probably are a few factors involved in that perception.
First, red wines in general are higher in alcohol than white wines, and alcohol can cause a “hot” or “bitter” impression on the palate. The same goes for tannin, which also is more present in red wines. And hot weather can magnify the sensation.
Until the temperatures come back down, you may want to consider drinking white wine, or giving your red wine a quick chill.
Probably the best red wine choice during the summer months is Sangiovese, which is high in acid, providing a refreshing tartness.
And while wine snobs may scoff at the idea, there’s no law against adding an ice cube to a glass of wine — regardless of its hue.