Chilled Red Wines
Did you think that all red wines must be served at room temperature? Think again! On a warm summers day, a glass of chilled red wine can be really refreshing. Not completely cold as you would drink a white wine, but just chilled slightly by putting in the fridge for 30 minutes before. However not all red wines are suitable for chilling so here are three basic rules for which wines suit this best:
1. Lighter is better – wines that are lower in alcohol and lighter body are much better chilled that full-bodied wines. Avoid chilling big wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Shiraz.
2. Not too tannic – as wine is chilled the tannins become more pronounced which will cover up fruit flavours . Be sure to pick a wine made from grapes that give low tannins such as Pinot Noir, Gamay and Barbera.
3. Keep it fresh – wines with some acidity are better chilled and become much more mouth-watering.
4, Not too complex - chilling a wine will make the wine appear less complex. This is why it's best to chill inexpensive wines that are very fruit forward.
So which wines in particular are best chilled?
Light-bodied wines made from the Pinot Noir and Gamay grape are great chilled. Gamays home is Beaujolais in France and tends to have a very fruity, fresh taste with red fruit flavours. Pinot Noir is similar with it's light body and red fruit flaviurs, but can also have more earthy flavours. The best Pinot Noirs to chill are the fruity ones, so less expensive Burgundy or New World Pinot from New Zealand . Avoid chilling older or more expensive Red Burgundies that have more earthy characteristics, as chilling will make it slightly less complex.
Inexpensive Italian reds such as Valpolicella and Barbera d'Asti are great for chilling. Valpolicella is a bright tangy red from Veneto in Italy, using the Corvina grape. this Italian wine comes from Asti in North East Italy and uses the Barbera grape. Both are light to medium bodied with very bright red cherry flavours and a refreshing acid, that becomes very refreshing when chilled.