This time of year, when the heat and humidity seem to suck the very life force through our pores, the last thing we need is a big bruiser of a red wine to do the same thing. This is the season for lighter, refreshing reds. But that doesn't mean uninteresting. The tough part can be finding wines that combine lightness and interest.
Berger Blauer Zweigelt 2006 from Austria definitely hits the mark as an ideal summertime red. It has the weight and acidity of a good cru Beaujolais, plus the earthiness of a pinot noir. Plummy fruit speaks of summer, and the 1-liter bottle accentuates the wine's inherent gulpability. It can handle spicier grill fare like barbecued ribs, or plainer food like burgers and pizza. And at only $11-12 for its oversized bottle, this may be the perfect red wine for summer.
E&M Berger Blauer Zweigelt 2006, a Terry Theise Selection, imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, N.Y., $12. Note: The importer's Web site offers the 2005 label, and the 2007 wines are already in distribution.