If you're looking for a great red wine at a reasonable price, try the 2008 Les Jamelles Pinot Noir.  This is a wine perfect with a light summer meal or to drink on its own--preferably outside with your toes in the grass, watching the setting sun.

The first word that comes to mind when drinking this wine would have to be: smooth.  This isn't a robust red, but that isn't to say that it's lacking in flavor.  It's full of deep fruity flavors like raspberry, but doesn't veer into sweetness--in fact, it's a bit tart, making it a refreshing choice for hot weather.  It's got subtle spice flavors and a distinct anise taste, which gives it an unusual, flavorful twist.  Despite its delicate nature, this wine isn't weak on the finish--jammy and spicy, it makes you want another sip.  And for about $9 a bottle, you can afford one.

It's a myth that all red wines should be served at room temperature, and since the 2008 Les Jamelles is an especially light red wine, it should definitely be chilled a bit.  To bring out its maximum fruit and spice flavors, we recommend serving this wine at proper cellar temperature: between 50 and 55 degrees.  Don't have a wine cellar or a wine refrigerator with a special red-wine section?  Try putting the bottle in the fridge for about an hour.  Besides bringing out the subtle flavors, not the alcohol fumes, chilling this wine a bit amps the refreshment factor, making it a perfect way to cool off a bit when you're still sweating by cocktail hour.

This wine would be great with pan-fried pork chops or a simple roast chicken.  It would also make a perfect picnic wine: pack up a basket with your outdoor-eating favorites (mine are cold grilled chicken and pasta salad) and enjoy the summer from your local beach, park, or hilltop.  Cheers!

Check out other posts about Pinot Noir.