Find the perfect chillable red wines for summer.
September 2021 'A Wine Club for That' Pack
What Makes a Red Wine Chillable?
Wines that Work
Sure, technically you can chill any red wine, but some varieties just lend themselves better to deliciousness at lower temperatures. Fruity reds with lighter body and lower alcohol work best. The bright red fruits in a Gamay or lighter style Pinot Noir, or Cinsault taste divine with a slight chill. Wines made using the carbonic or semi-carbonic method, where the initial fermentation takes place inside the intact berries, retain more of their fruity, fresh characteristics and take well to chilling.
Reds with high tannin, lots of oak, high alcohol just don't work well chilled. Cold temperatures can amplify tannin, oak and alcohol, leaving you with a harsh taste and subdued fruit notes. That Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are best left out of the ice bath.
“Hot” tip: Don’t Overchill!
30min in the fridge or an ice bath should be plenty. If your wine has been in the fridge days, pop it on the counter top for about 30min to let up warm a bit. An exception to this is the ”Love You Bunches.” It can (and should) be ice cold to get the most out of it.
Pairings for Chillable Reds
Pair it with Life
Hot summer nights · Hot flashes · Hot Twitter topics · Molten Hot Pockets · Social media hotheads · You know, hot stuff...
Pair it with Food
Charcuterie · Homemade pizza · Blue cheese burgers · BBQ
Wines great chilled and why we chose them
2020 Stolpman ‘Love You Bunches’ Carbonic Sangiovese
Santa Barbara, CA
Why it’s chillable: Sangiovese (think Brunello) can be rich and robust. But this one was made in the semi-carbonic method, where initial fermentation takes place within whole, intact grape clusters. This helps retain fruity flavors and freshness. Chill this bottle very well and it will leave you saying, “so fresh!” indeed!
Tastes like: Candied strawberry · Raspberry · Just enough bite back
Good eats: Cured meats · Your pizza oven masterpiece
How cold can you go? Chill it real good.
2018 Savage Grace Côt
Dineen Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills, WA
Why it’s chillable: Côt is the term for Malbec in France. Usually rich and brooding, and often elevated in alcohol, most Malbecs wouldn’t love a chillin’. This one is made in a lighter style (with a low 12.5% abv) using that semi-carbonic whole cluster technique again, keeping it fresh and fruity. Really fruity. The savory balance comes out as it warms, so don’t overchill this one.
Tastes like: Grape (really :) · Blueberry · Savory balance (when not overchilled)
Good eats: Pepper flank steak · Rosemary lamb chops · Blue cheese burgers
How cold can you go? A little chill will do! Too cold and the fruitiness overwhelms.
Wow: The previous 2017 vintage won top 100 wines in Wine Enthusiast and Decanter!
2020 La Kiura Rouge de Vallée
Vallée d’Aoste, Italy
Why it’s chillable: Nebbiolo- high tannin (bad for chilling), high acid (now we’re talking) and high alcohol (uh oh). But wait, that’s for Nebbiolo made in hot climates. This one (made with 70% Picotendro as they call it there) is from a cooler region where the grape doesn’t get as ripe. You’ll still get classic tannins on the finish, but they act like a supporting cast to the bright red fruits and not their usual star of the Nebbiolo show.
Tastes like: Cherry · Raspberry · Dried herbs · Touch of leather · Tannins on finish
Good eats: Cured meats · Grilled chicken · Grilled mushrooms
How cold can you go? Chilled to lightly chilled, with flavors developing throughout.
But, what about Cabernet All Day?
If your mantra is "go big or go home," just make sure you're keeping the alcohol and oak content in check. Or, better yet, wait until the hot sun starts to fade before popping open that Syrah or Cabernet.
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