Red wines that chill

Chilled red. It sounds like an oxymoron. Or something that would get your membership revoked at the club.

But, in fact, it works. The key is to choose a red wine that is low in tannin, which explains why Beaujolais from the thin-skinned Gamay grape, often is the prime red candidate for chilling. Bringing the wine’s temperature down to say 55 degrees, gives the wine an added refreshment value (you can slip one of those ice sleeve things on for about 10 minutes). However, it does cut down on the wine’s fruity aromas–and also the perceived alcohol (which may be welcome depending on the wine in the glass). And if there are a lot of tannins in the wine, they stand out since that’s all that’s left.

Here are three reds worth a chill.

Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Cheverny (red), 2009. $15

The Puzelat brothers–leading natural winemakers–have made this delicious blend that combines the fruit and fun of gamay with a bit of the structure of pinot noir. I’ve poured this wine a lot this summer and it has won plaudits from wine geeks and newbies alike. Pour slowly or decant since this wine has thrown a sediment. (Bottled with extruded synthetic closure.)

Valle dell’ Acate, Frappato, 2008, $20
Similarly, I’ve poured this red native to Sicily wine a fair bit this summer–always chilled–and people love it! One group was intrigued by the idea of chilling red and the wine was gone way too fast. Another group suggested it reminded them of sangria–and meant that as a compliment. To me, it has bright red fruit but enough structure to be interesting. (Bottled with bright orange injection molded closure.)

Torre dei Beati, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo Rosa-ae, 2009 $18
Technically, this wine is a rosé. But it’s a dark a rosé as you’ll encounter, so we’ll throw it in here with the chillable red since it also likes to chill. Hailing from (red) Montepulciano grapes in Abruzzo, to the east of Rome, the juice gets “bled” off after a couple days maceration. The resulting wine has notes of ripe cherries overlay surprisingly good acidity for this juicy, fun wine. (Bottled with cork.)

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5 Responses to “Red wines that chill”

  1. Recently had a very tasty chilled Alsatian Pinot Noir 2006 at the Killington Wine Festival, from Domain Sipp-Mack…it remained quite open in its earthy fragrance and lively on the palate with some wild strawberry…nice surprise. I tried all of their wines and was seriously impressed…less impressed by the crowds who came to the table looking only for a pinot noir, though…and then making a face when they saw it was chilled.
    Oh well, we have a lot to learn.

  2. […] Chilled Red Wine August 24th, 2010 | Author: admin Chilled red. It sounds like an oxymoron. Or something that would get your membership revoked at the club.Click here for the complete article […]

  3. J. Lohr Estates Wildflower Valdiguié is proof that red wine can – and sometimes should – be chilled! Thoroughlly recommended!

  4. I recommend chilling our lighter reds all the time, especially our *%#&@! Rhone blend. It’s incredibly refreshing with some nice BBQ.

    During the summer I also recommend cooling down all reds, even the biggest cab. Chances are you are going to serve it too warm at “room temperature”, and if it turns out to be a little too cold, wait a couple minutes. Cheers! – j

  5. I had the pleasure of tasting a Fox Run Lemberger from upstate NY on Sunday, another grape that loves a chill. It reminded me of a drier Catawba, a grape I grew up with in northern Ohio.


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