Chilled red wine | Natural born chillers

Chilled red wine might seem like heresy but it might be time to think again.

Before you wheel the barbecue out of hibernation this year, perhaps a little vinous preparation might be in order. No doubt your fridge will be well stocked with white and rosé in anticipation of a glorious summer, but may I suggest a quick shift-about to make some room for a couple of bottles of chilled red wine as well?
Some of you may well have tried a wonderfully chilled Beaujolais, as indeed we have recommended below, along with some others. However there are lots of wines you could choose that can be enjoyed at a cooler temperature. Follow the five tips below and you won’t go far wrong.

1. Fresh and fruity. Beaujolais being the classic example of chilled red wine. Oonce chilled it becomes refreshing without losing any character.

2. Chilled, not ice cold. 45 minutes in a fridge should do it. Don’t treat it like a white wine and leave in the fridge all day as most of the delicate flavours will be muted and it’ll taste dull. The only exception to this would be a sparkling red such as Lambrusco, which is best served nice and cold.

3. Cool climate. Generally, coastal wineries or high altitude wines without too much weight or alcohol with good acidity are best.

4. Light not heavy. Heavier wines tend to lose too much character when chilled and become very clumsy. Choose lighter varietals like Pinot Noir, Gamay and Cab Franc, not Cab Sauvignon or Shiraz.

5. Have fun and experiment!