Drinking Outside the Box: Chilled Reds
When thinking about summer drinks, a wealth of white and rosé may spring to mind, but it’s an undeniable fact that chilled reds have exploded onto the scene in recent months, opening eyes and palates alike. The notion of a cold red may certainly seem like an oxymoron, given the age-old rule of religiously serving these at room temperature – but in fact, it’s been a trend that our European neighbours have enjoyed for decades. Now, it’s the UK’s turn to appreciate red’s day in the sun.
So, why chill? In short, for the same reasons you’d serve white and rosé wines straight from the fridge. Cooler temperatures emphasise acidity and sharpen fruity flavours into prominence – all in all, enhancing qualities of red wines that are generally masked by higher serving temperatures. Although over-chilling can reduce the aromas and flavours that add depth to red wine, a thirty-minute burst in the fridge will add layers of complexity that you didn’t even know were there.
That’s not to say that you should start popping every bottle of red you have into the fridge. A serving temperature of between 10-13oC may work beautifully for the cranberry sharpness of a Pinot Noir, but try it with a Barolo and all you’ll find is an overly bitter astringency that’s likely to scare you off chilled reds for good. A good base rule is to be wary of anything with high tannins and a full body; chilling will over-enhance bitterness to the extent that any fruit flavours will be entirely overpowered. To get the most out of this trend, stick to light-bodied, fruit-forward wines; Beaujolais, Pinot Noir and Grenache all fit the bill to a tee.
Not convinced? We asked some of Enotria&Coe’s biggest fans of chillable reds to share their recommendations…
Young Red 2018, Bonterra Organic Vineyards
“Everyone I know is in love with this wine, and for good reason. It’s light, fruity, aromatic, and utterly delicious in every way – the perfect drink to serve chilled on balmy summer days. This is definitely the only red I’ll be drinking all summer.” Emma Jane Bailey, Senior Events Manager
Impulse Gamay Noir 2016, Stedt Wines
“This new addition to the Enotria&Coe portfolio has got to be my favourite drink of the summer. It’s incredibly aromatic on the nose, but more savoury on the palate – until you chill it, and then it’s a whole different ball game, with plum and herb flavours really coming into focus. Plus, the label is stunning. What’s not to like?” Marvin Mico, Graphic Designer
Pax Aeterna Old Vine Grenache 2017, Chaffey Bros Wine Co
“I’ll be drinking the Pax Aeterna this summer! I love chilled reds – you get so many new and unexpected flavours that it really adds a whole new depth to your drinking.This one’s even better with food; it’s full of cranberry and herb flavours that mean it’s a perfect match for almost anything. It’d definitely be my pairing of choice in any restaurant and ordering a chilled red with a meal gives you major ‘in-the-know’ points, too.” Thomas Rayfox, Customer Service Team Leader
Chianti Classico 2016, Brancaia
“The thing I love about this trend is that experimenting with it can unearth some real treasures. I’d never have thought of chilling a Chianti before - but I tried it at London Wine Fair and have been hooked ever since! This one’s full of unexpected raspberry and cranberry flavours that are incredibly refreshing, and serving a chilled wine with a little more body means you have the dream drink for summer barbeques.” Laura Marks, E-Commerce Marketing Manager