We all know the rules, white wines and rose are served chilled while red wines are served at room temperature. However, what if I told you that sometimes the best way to enjoy red wine is when it’s been chilled? Far from being blasphemous, chilling certain red wines opens can enhance the flavor and is a great and refreshing way to enjoy them in the hotter months.
Of course, you can’t just throw any old red wine into the fridge. Furthermore the degree to which the wine is chilled is extremely important. When picking a red wine to pop in the fridge, focus on lighter-bodied options. Cooling down wines will lessen the alcoholic taste and make crisp wines taste even more refreshing. Anything light bodied and fruit forward should work chilled. Conversely, avoid chilling full bodied reds as the chilling process will emphasis the oak and tannin flavors making them fairly unpalatable.
Finally, avoid the temptation to over-chill your wines. Try to keep red wines at temperatures between 55°F and 60°F. Anything below 55°F will become increasingly astringent and bland.
Wines to try
There aren’t really any hard and fast rules when it comes to picking which red wines to chill, however I would advise against putting heavier wines like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon in the fridge.
Acacia Pinot Noir ($12)
Complex and delicious, Pinot Noir is tasty regardless of the temperature. However, serving it chilled really brings up the brightness and earthy flavors. Acacia Pinot Noir is one of the more affordable options, and perfect for the fridge.
Calabretta Etna Rosso ($24)
Possibly one of the best wine types you’ve never heard of Nerello Mascalese is a light bodied red wine with a lot of things in common with Pinot Noir. Packed full of fruity flavors, it’s wonderfully refreshing when served chilled.
Frog’s Leap Zinfandel ($25)
Light-bodied and with high acidity, Zinfandel is a great wine to pop in the fridge. Frog’s Leap Zinfandel is fairly low in tannins making it a perfect red to serve chilled.