Is it Cool to Drink Chilled Red Wine?

Summertime! A cold glass of white wine — yes. A cold glass of red wine…err… yes?

We’re here to say yes to that. Abso-darn-lutely. For sure. No doubt. YASSS.

The question becomes: when? and what?

Don’t worry, we got this. But first, what do we mean by “cooled”?

I have grown very weary of people debating serving temperatures like they were conducting cancer research. Here’s a brief refresher:

-White wine is typically served at about 45-55 degrees, or “left in the fridge overnight” cold.

-Red wine is commonly served at 58-65 degrees, or “an average room when it’s not too hot or too cold.”

-Fuller bodied whites often reveal more when they warm up a touch, but I prefer to start them at fridge temp and go from there.

So what about this idea of a cooled red? Why do this? As any wine-drinker knows, mood is an important factor to consider when deciding which bottle to pop. It’s a warm, early Summer evening. At roughly happy hour, the sun is still out and you can sit outside without bothering with a jacket. But you know that within a few hours, it will be a little chilly.

You’re not quite in that “I need to cool down NOW” mentality that calls for a super cold white. This is a perfect time for a chilled red!

Stick it either:

a.) in the fridge for 30 minutes

b.) in an ice & water bath for about 15, depending on how late you’re already running.

Now, there are plenty of red grapes that take very kindly to a little fridge time. As a general rule, anything relatively light bodied does brilliantly. Gamay, Tempranillo, Valdiguié, Zweigelt and Pinot Noir are all good candidates.

The light background of spice found in these guys will really pop with a little chill. The more fruit-forward a red is, the better it will behave when chilled. Reds with heavy use of oak aren’t as great; you tend to get more of the alcohol and tannin on the palate, which is a wee bit harsh. Plus, who really likes big fat reds in the Summer? Not I.

Give a chilled red a whirl! It’s cooler than cool.




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