October 01, 2023 by Alyssa Taylor

The Sunday Sip: Chilled Reds

Q: Can you chill red wines?

A: The technical answer – The proper serving temperature is nuanced, depending on the style of the wine, the vintage, the weather and of course, your own personal taste.

Our simplified answer – YES! You can absolutely chill red wines. In fact, we think red wine is best served at least a little chilled. As a point of reference, 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for most red wines.

Typically, when you chill a red wine, some flavors are muted and others are enhanced. I.e. Fruity notes tend to become more pronounced, while tannins—the bitter and astringent compounds in red wine—tend to ‘fade away’ or even shut down. With that being said, some general red wines to drink at a cooler temperature are the lighter, shorter skin contact, younger varieties like Pinot Noir, Grenache, or Gamay. These types of varieties are able to withstand a longer, deeper chill that makes them ever-so refreshing.

On the flip side, it’s less frequent to chill the full, dense, or heavy oak-aged reds wines like Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots, Malbecs, and full-bodied Syrahs. If you chill red wines in this style too much, the wine can start to taste disjointed, mute and incomplete.

So, to bring this full circle, we always say to drink red wines as you prefer. Chilled or not. Just know, you can absolutely chill them – if you’d like!

2 of our favorite chilled reds right now?

  1. 2020 Les Athlètes du Vin Chinon Cabernet Franc $25
  2. 2020 Gouchas Luján de Cuyo Carbonic Malbec $22

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