As much rose and white wine as I've been enjoying all summer long, the last several weeks - quite sticky/warm ones, we all agree - I've dipped my toe in the red pond more and more. I've found a renewed affection for Nebbiolo in particular (La Kiuva, Devorville, etc.), a light-skinned Italian red grape with an I-can't-stop-smelling-it rusticity and a bout of structure that makes it a grill-lovers dream. I've also had a blast revisiting the big, bold reds of Washington State, and dabbled in Pinot Noir from the worlds most prized area, Burgundy, as well as Oregon and California. The key to my success enjoying each of these wines on even the stickiest, thickest of summer days? Serving temperature.

When you go out to eat, do not be surprised if you have to ask for an ice bucket to chill your red down to actual "room" temperature. If you get a dirty look, throw one back. Sadly few restaurants have enough foresight (or the facilities?) to ensure red wines are served at the optimal temperature. (Sometimes you may even see the wine bottles high up on shelves or racks behind the bar - where hot lights are adding a little extra not-so-welcome 'magic' to the wine.) At home, all you need is 30 minutes of fridge time; so when you walk through your front door after work, grab your bottle of choice and stick it in the fridge. Then putter around, opening mail, letting the dog out, putting away your CVS purchases, etc. 30 minutes will be gone in a second, and your wine experience will be delightfully happier for it.