Hot weather calls for cool wines. Swap heavy reds and expensive bubblies for these refreshing—and affordable—quaffs. Whether you’re hosting a backyard BBQ or packing a picnic lunch, here are 12 summer wines for every summer shindig.
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When the thermometer keeps shooting skyward, heavy red wines are as appealing as a steaming bowl of chili by the fireplace. Beat the heat with light-bodied reds: They’re lower in alcohol and a good match for fresh summer dishes, and best of all, they taste wonderful chilled.Mikaël Bouges Touraine Rouge “Les Côts Hauts” 2010 Though it’s made with malbec grapes, this vino hails from the Loire Valley, a cooler region, which translates to less of a tannic punch than ones grown in warmer climates. A delicate blackberry flavor and a stony finish work well with grilled vegetables. Available at Astor Wines & Spirits, 399 Lafayette St at 4th St (212-674-7500, astorwines.com). $14.96.Franck Balthazar Cotes-du-Rhone 2011 At most vineyards, the horse-drawn plow has gone the way of VCRs and dial-up modems. But not at the estate of Franck Balthazar, famed for his old-school methods. Produced in northern Rhone, an area known for highly expensive wines, his syrah—with hints of black pepper and olives—is a steal. Available at Flatiron Wines & Spirits, 929 Broadway between 21st and 22nd Sts (212-477-1315, flatiron-wines.com). $21.99.Coudert Clos de la Roilette Fleurie 2010 magnumA wine that ages gracefully, the purpl