The best thing about this new buzzy category is that it's all up to you. We won't judge you if you drink these reds at 52 degrees or 69. Heck, make mulled wine for all we care. That being said! We don't want to be the reason you throw a 20 year old Barolo in the freezer. Below is a list of guidelines for chilling your reds.
2. We like them light. It's not an exclusive rule, but lighter bodied reds seem to work best in this category. Grapes like Gamay, Pinot Noir and Zweigelt do well chilled. Bigger bodied tannic grapes like Zinfendal, Mourvedre and Nero d'Avola can end up getting jammy and lose flavor if they get too cold.
3. It doesn't need to be cheap. Cheap doesn't mean bad, expensive doesn't mean better. In this category, price isn't relevant. Serve your Crus Beaujolais at 45 degrees if you want to.
4. Natural wines like the cold. Low intervention wines free of pesticides and sulfur tend to be on the fresh and bright side. Even natural wines made from full bodied grapes like Shiraz can end up with a lighter body and tannic structure than say, a Côte-Rôtie made from the same grape would. With the absence of chemicals and sulfur, natural wines can quickly become unstable and storing them at colder temperatures can also ensure they stay fresh.
Oh wait, there is one rule. Once you put a bottle in the fridge, don't let it get warm again. This can destabilize the wine and cause it to go bad.
This indigenous Sicilian grape shows scarlet with violet highlights in the glass. The nose is bursting with fresh red berry and sweet spices, which continue on to the palate. The wine is bright, tart, and mouth-watering and its freshness is preserved by concrete fermentation. It is ultra smooth, with lively acidity and a balanced, spicy, long finish. It’s a highly drinkable wine and would pair nicely with fowl or a classic Italian fish stew with cod and prawns.
Beaujolais Villages $19
You can't get away with making a list of chilled red without including a Beaujolais. Wines from this region are classically served chilled. This is biodynamically farmed old vine Gamay fermented with native yeasts in concrete and finished in stainless steel for six months. Light, juicy raspberry, cranberry and pomegranate flavors with a distinct minerality and a little acid on the finish. This one we like with burgers.
100% Alicante Bouschet
Chillable reds often start out as rosés that turned out too dark...or red wines that turned out too light. In any event, this wine comes from the full bodied Alicante grape but a short maceration period produced a fresh, juicy cuvée which makes it a perfect candidate for getting thrown in the fridge. Flavors of fresh strawberries, raspberries and plum with a little spice. It’s the perfect early autumn red. Serve cold with brie as an aperitif or with veggie chili.
McLaren Vale, Australia
Shiraz & Grenache
A perfect example of a full bodied, dark flavored wine that really benefits from a colder temp. This wine is full of black fruit and earthy notes with bits of spice box and cocoa. Medium bodied, but still manages to be light on the palate, forgiving of tannins and definitely has a bit of effervescence. This wine plays nice in a myriad of ways. As an aperitif with a chicken liver mousse, accompanying lamb during the main course, or with chocolate cupcakes to finish the night.