So you wanna be cool? Then drink a wonderful chilled red wine during this heatwave. And while most red wines should be consumed cooler than room temperature, I am talking chilled to 50º-55ºF to knock that sweat from your brow. But be careful; not all red wines should be chilled to that degree.
A chilled red wine should be refreshing. Chilling red wine affects characteristics in wine differently. Tannins, for example, are accentuated by the chill. Grippy, parching tannins are far from refreshing by taking on an astringent quality. Aromas and flavors are muted when chilled. So a fruit-forward wine will taste less so with a chill.
Please keep reading for a list of a few wines we have chilled and the fundamental guidelines employed when choosing such a wine.
Guidelines for Chilable Red Wines
Here are some tips for selecting a red wine that you plan to chill.
- Light- or medium-bodied wines with fresh acidity and mild to no tannins are the overall most important guidelines.
- Look for juicy, fruity flavors. This does not mean sweet wine. It means fruit-forward wines. Wines made using carbonic maceration make excellent chilled reds.
- Look for wines with low to moderate alcohol. Lower alcohol makes the wine more refreshing and thirst-quenching. Also, consider that you may drink a chilled red faster than usual.
- Red wines that are lighter in color are excellent red wines to chill. Lighter color means less time on the skins, thus less extraction. And that equals a perfect chillable red.
- Buy young and stay at $20.00 or less a bottle.
- Avoid heavily oaked wines as those oaky flavors, and oak tannins increase with a chill.
Angelo Negro Vino Rosso 2020, Piedmont, Italy
I love what it says on the back of the bottle: “Chill, Shake, Serve.” And yes, I posted about this wine 18 months ago. But favorites always find a way back into my life.
This is a dry Brachetto. Brachetto is an indigenous grape found in northern Italy. Traditionally most Brachello wines are made to be off-dry to sweet and sometimes with a bit of effervescence. However, this fabulous wine is an exception to the rule, making it a perfect summer sip for those who prefer dry.
Ok, so why “shake, as the label states?” It is because this wine is not filtered or fined, so it’s a bit cloudy. Don’t worry; it’s just spent yeast and other organic particles. You won’t taste or feel them; some say they enhance the experience.
Look for bright, fresh floral aromas with tart cherry and cranberry on the palate.
This wine sells for $20.99 at Seven Star Liquors on James Island. Also nationally distributed, so call your local bottle shop for availability.
Elena Walch, Schiava 2020, Alto Adige, Italy
This wine makes me giddy. I have been a big fan of Elena Walch’s white wines for a few years. They make excellent Pinot Grigio and Pinot Blanc. So when I saw they also made a Schiava, I had to try it.
Schiava… You have probably never heard of it. Don’t beat yourself up; it is an uncommon variety. You will find it in northern Italy and Germany (although the Germans call it “Trollinger.”)
This is a light-bodied, low-tannin wine with moderate acidity. Look for red fruit flavors like strawberry and raspberry. You drink it young and buy it for less than $20.00 a bottle, making this the perfect red to chill as it ticks off every box on the list above.
I have been pouring this wine all summer at tastings and for friends. It is flying off the shelves.
This wine sells for $16.99 at Seven Star Liquors on James Island. Also nationally distributed, so call your local bottle shop for availability.
Domaine Charnay Beaujoulais 2020, France
Wines made from the Gamay grape are perfect with a chill. Cold carbonic maceration brings its red fruit flavors to the fore. Gamay wines show minimal tannic structure and are light-bodied with low alcohol. Look for medium plus acidity. And forget about seeing any oak for aging or fermentation.
This wine started with cold carbonic maceration in stainless steel, then spent six months in concrete. It is easy to drink. It hits all the marks for a delicious Beaujolais.
This is a new winemaker who has family steeped in the Beaujolais winemaking business who guided him with his first vintages. As a result, this wine drinks way above its price point.
This wine sells for $16.99 at Seven Star Liquors on James Island. And limited distribution to see if it’s in your area.
Dough Pinot Noir 2019, Oregon
Pinot Noir styles vary. And while all Pinot Noir wines drink well with a chill on them, the amount of chill should vary based on the quality of your bottle. Better quality Pinot Noir shows best when you drink it at 60ºF. “Table wine” quality Pinot Noir will show just as well at 55º by hiding any flaws the wine may have.
I admit this is a snobbish comment, but I typically will not drink a Pinot Noir if it sells for less than $30.00. But if it’s a hot summer day and I am craving a Pinot Noir, I will grab this wine, throw a wet paper towel around the bottle and toss it in the fridge. Then thirty minutes later, I will get the party started.
This is not a terroir-driven Pinot that will transport my snobbish ass back to the vineyard. But it is a delicious Pinot that drinks well above its price point and one I will recommend all day long for the wine drinker looking for something easy and approachable. Not to mention excellent with a chill on it.
This wine sells for $19.99 at Seven Star Liquors on James Island. Also nationally distributed, so call your local bottle shop for availability.
Acquiesce “Christina’s Outlier” 2021, Lodi, California
This is the only wine on this list that is unavailable at a local bottle shop. It is sold at the winery and through their website. And for that, I am sorry because it will probably have sold out by the time you read this.
You see, it is a brand new red wine from Acquiesce. What, you say… a red wine from Acquiesce? And my response is yes. It is “Christina’s Outlier,” their 2021 Grenache. It is an outlier because it is a red wine made at a white wine house.
Christina Lopez is Acquiesce’s Assistant Winemaker. She just celebrated her first anniversary. That year, she fell hard for the Grenache Noir that Sue grows for her rosés. And while historically, no red wines are made at Acquiesce, Christina wanted to do something special to celebrate her first year.
Thus we have “Christina’s Outlier,” a light, summertime red – Grenache – wine. Light in color – a transparent fire engine red. It is light-bodied as well. Both characteristics are due to limiting the amount of time on the skins.
Aromas and flavors are anything but light. Instead, they are fruitful and luscious with mouthwatering acidity.
There were only 52 cases of this wine made. One week after its release, there are only 20 cases left. Well, actually, just 18 cases. Gary and I picked up a case for our personal consumption. And I also grabbed a case for my concierge clients. I might have a couple of extra bottles. If you are interested in my concierge program, perhaps you could get a single bottle allocation on your first order. Just saying.
The website for Acquiesce is here to see if they still have any available. It sells for $32.00 a bottle.
Spanish rosé is called rosado and is significantly darker than the typical American or French rosé. Therefore, some might call this wine a “rosado.” Call it what you want; I call it delicious.
That is all we have for you today. Until next time…