Chilled Reds Perfect for Summer

Chilled red wines have become all the rage. But some red wines are better to chill than others. Most of us drink all of our wines at the “wrong” temperature anyway - reds should be low to mid 60s, whites should be high 40s to low 50s. Most importantly, if wine is too cold, you won’t be able to smell all the pretty aromas - and almost all of what you are tasting comes from the aromas. Still, throw your red wine in the fridge for 15-30 min to get a little chill on it - even the fullest bodied wines will benefit. If you have a lighter, fresher red wine, it’s likely to be more appropriate to get it even colder.

If you want to experiment with chilled red wine, a good place to start is with Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is the light grape everyone knows. While its home is in Burgundy, it has made a second home in California. Pinot Noir is always going to be fruity and all the California sunshine accentuates that. A great example is the Pinot Noir from Upwell. It is medium in body and bursting with red and dark fruit flavors that become even more refreshing with a chill. If you want something even lighter in body (more sun = more sugar = more alcohol = fuller bodied wine), we can check out a French Pinot Noir, or in this case a Pinot Noir blend. J. Mourat is based in the Loire Valley, which is known for making lighter style Pinot Noirs. The ‘Fiefs Vendeens Rouge’ bottling blends in two other grapes to make it a little peppery in addition to all the pretty red fruit characteristics - also perfect with a chill.

Another popular light red grape is Gamay. Gamay is similar to Pinot Noir in many ways - it is light bodied, has pretty red fruit characteristics and good acidity. Gamay’s home is just south from Pinot Noir’s home (also within the limits of Burgundy), in an area called Beaujolais. Despite its terrible reputation for putting out unfinished wine in November (Beaujolais Nouveau wine), the producers in Beaujolais make some of the highest quality wines in the world for a fraction of the price of their neighbors to the North (with just as much knowledge of land and winemaking expertise). You should always drink Gamay with a chill. One producer we have in the shop here, Mee Godard, was recently featured on Good Morning America for wines to drink with a chill!

One last great example for wines to drink with a chill is Sangiovese. While Sangiovese can make some of the most serious and full bodied wines (Chianti & Brunello) it can also make light, fresh, easy to drink wines. If you’re going to call a wine Chianti or Brunello, you have to leave it in oak for years. Oak contributes to body and tannin - things that aren’t great for a chilled wine. But, if you ferment Sangiovese in steel tanks (or concrete!) the result will be lighter and fresher. The Maestro di Pomodoro bottle is a great example of this - at only 12% alcohol and low in tannin, it's a perfect wine to drink with a chill on its own or with pizza at the pool.
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