August 15 arrives and the spanish beaches are crowded without or with covid. Wearing a swimsuit, we plant the parasol, we throw the towel on the sand, and open our cooler filled with ice. Cans of soda for the children, and for the grown-ups, a very cool homemade tinto de verano.
Two hours later, red as crustaceans, we walk to the nearest beach bar or restaurant, being careful not to burn the soles of our feet. We review the menu to finish by ordering some macaroni for the children and a ribeye with potatoes for us. First, a very fresh salad. And to drink? Another tinto de verano, or a red wine?
What is tinto de verano?
More than wine, the tinto de verano is a cocktail typical of spanish beaches and terraces. Its origin is located at the beginning of the 20th century in Córdoba, in charge of Antonio Vargas, owner of a popular place attended by singers and guitarists. There, Antonio served his best-known drink, known as “un vargas”; this was nothing more than a glass of red wine and soda.
Today, tinto de verano remains a popular drink with a red wine base garnished with soda or lemon soda, served in a highball glass with lots of ice and, optionally, a lemon wedge. Its favorite habitat is in the after-dinner parties, summer terraces and local festivals, where far from being prepared exclusively in the inns, liters of big brands such as Don Simón or La Casera are consumed, which are sold in supermarkets and grocery stores.
What is the difference between tinto de verano and sangria?
Another drink that shares high season with the tinto de verano is sangria. Although some people mistake it for sharing the red wine base, sangria incorporates liquor, cut fruit and sugar… a lot of sugar; this is the main difference, which makes it a sweet drink. The amount of alcohol also differs substantially, being higher in sangria. Although the difference is small (around 2-3 %), after several drinks, this small difference is noticeable. If you want to try it for yourself, here are the 9 best sangria recipes according to Tapas Magazine, so that you are encouraged to prepare your own!
And what about red wine in summer?
Many wine lovers are unfaithful to red wine when summer arrives. Due to its serving temperature, or its powerful body, it is neither the lightest drink, nor the easiest, nor the most appetizing on a hot day, when a glass full of ice has a great influence on our choice. However, at ANTIGVA we do not stop enjoying our favorite drink in its red variety. How do we do it? Following three maxims that guarantee its enjoyment also in summer:
- We monitor the temperature: red wine should not be stored in the fridge, much less served cold, but excess heat can spoil it and make it difficult to drink. Therefore, our preferred option is to keep it at a suitable temperature outside the refrigerator and always protected from direct sunlight. We keep it in the fridge for 1 hour on the chosen day. Then, about 30 minutes before consumption, we take it out and leave it at room temperature.
- We monitor the temperature, also during consumption: if the ambient heat is excessive and we run the risk that the wine will heat up when it is consumed, we use a champagne cooler with ice to leave the bottle open. We never –never ever– put ice into the glass of red wine. We do try to fill the glass to half capacity so that the broth exposed to the sun is the minimum. Finally, we take the glass by the stem to transmit as little body heat as possible to the wine.
- We continue to monitor the temperature after consumption: if we do not finish the bottle and want to reserve the rest for another occasion (not too far away), then we do keep in the fridge. Now it is convenient to do it standing up and with a special cap that extracts the air from inside the bottle for optimal conservation. In case of not having such a stopper, we use the bottle’s own cork.
So this summer… tinto de verano, or red wine?
The most important thing when it comes to drinking wine, is to enjoy it. This should be the only maxim that we follow when choosing one or the other, and the end of each bottle that we open. And when it comes to enjoyment, no one can tell us with what, or how.
At ANTIGVA we have it clear: we, who love wine, continue to prefer red wine to tinto de verano in summer. A red wine with which we enjoy refreshing summer meals is A de ANTIGVA Tempranillo, a sweet varietal with just the right power and body for the hot months with a serving temperature of around 14 ºC. Salads, light pasta and barbecues go perfectly with this easy-to-drink red wine.
But we are human, and sometimes we want something even easier. So, away from the popular tinto de verano or sangria, we choose our ctrl+alt+del rosé. It is a sweet Tempranillo rosé wine with a color as bright as summer nights. This, in addition to resetting our emotional state, is enjoyed with pleasure in a balloon glass with a slice or grapefruit or orange peel. And, here yes: ice, lots of ice, because we are in summer and nothing is more enjoyable than a very cool rosé wine.