Warm summer days are usually paired with chilled white wines, but when the lunch or dinner menu calls for something a little more full-bodied, a lighter Napa Valley red wine can be the solution. A great wine for summer sipping or dining is the 2012 Elizabeth Spencer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($60).

2012 Elizabeth Spencer Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Warm weather reds usually trade heavier characteristics of their varietal (dark chocolate, licorice, black fruits, etc.) with softer tannins and hints of summer fruits and berries. Such is the case with this Napa Valley Cab. Although dark in the glass, the aromas are lighter and ripe tropical and berry flavors add a refreshing element. Typical Cab features of earth and plum are still there, enabling the wine to be paired with any foods you’d usually serve with a bolder wine.

Enjoy this Napa Valley red wine best by serving at optimal temperature. Using WSET guidlines (chart below), chilled to 55 degress F is good place to start adjusting the serving temperature to your palate. I let the wine breath for an hour and found it ready to drink now, though I’ll probably keep a few bottles set aside for future summers.

Wine Serving Temperatures

Visit Elizabeth Spencer’s Napa Valley tasting room:

Elizabeth Spencer Wines

1165 Rutherford Road, Rutherford, CA 94573