The perfect beach wine is refreshing, thirst quenching and drinkable
There are no such things as “wines to drink on the beach,” or, at least, not yet. If you live by the beach you are likely to have similar, while different, wine drinking patterns than those living in the countryside or city.
However, most of us, when we go to the beach, it’s usually because we’re on holiday and our mind, body and almost everything else changes, and so does our wine drinking soul.
As a write these lines from the beach in beautiful Da Nang, I remember a few days ago when I was thinking what wines to bring with me to enjoy. In case you are wondering, yes the hotel I am staying in has a wine list, but as most resorts do, it is very limited and aims at the occasional tourist looking for something cheap and cheerful.
While most people on holiday don’t mind a simple cheap wine, the same reason that they don’t mind watered down simple cocktails, because they are on holiday and are willing to relax, I still keep my standards high when on holiday because I want to make the most of it.
My plan was to have a few glasses on the balcony every afternoon when relaxing, watching the waves come and go. So I was looking for something not too powerful, and definitely for a wine that would not lose a lot when it is taken a couple of degrees or so too hot, because unless I gulp it, even if served cold, it will warm up pretty fast.
Hence I eliminated from my list almost every white wine, especially Sauvignon Blanc and the like, which when warm, their acidity is not welcomed anymore; so a chardonnay with a little bit of minerality turned out to be great, even when it reached a few degrees too warm, it did not become an undrinkable soup. Chardonnay, Viura, Chenin Blanc would work great.
I also wanted a bottle of red, so I had to forget the heavy Shiraz, and almost most full body wines, which when drunk a bit too warm will give you their worst, including the alcohol. So
I chose a nice Rioja Crianza, which I served a bit too cold. With alcohol levels between 13 and 14%, the Rioja still have the body for you to enjoy, and I insist in the Crianza part because that Guarantees the minimum 12 months barrel aging, which will bring the complexity and finesse that I was looking for; and it worked perfectly.
Therefore, for reds, Rioja Crianza, young Grenache (but look out for low alcohol level), Chianti and some young Sangiovese, a Pinot Noir if you want something fruitier, Mencia, Pinotage and young Tempranillo will please you.