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Chillable Reds: Yes, You Should Chill Your Red Wine

90+ Cellars Chillable Reds


What started off as a booming trend seems here to stay, and it makes perfect sense why. By chilling down your red wines you open them up to more expressive aromas, more pronounced fruit notes on the palate, and chilled out tannins… pun intended. The wines become more approachable and overall more delicious. If a red wine is served at too warm of a temperature it can taste flabby, alcoholic and tannic. 

How to Chill

How does one go about chilling down a red wine? Well, you have a few options. The best way to chill down your red wine quickly is by sticking it in an ice bucket with ice and cold water for 10-15 minutes (this is also the most efficient way to chill down your rosé or white wine too). You can also use the freezer for 15-20 minutes. Or, if you have a bit more time, simply pop your bottle in the refrigerator for 45 minutes. For long term storage and that perfect chill, keep your wine fridge temperature between 50-55 degrees. 

Can you Over-Chill? 

The answer is yes. If a red wine becomes too cold you will end up masking the beautiful fruit aromas and flavors. If you left your wine in the fridge for too long, simply set it on the counter and let it warm up for a few minutes before enjoying. 

What to Chill?

Which types of wines fall under this chillable category you ask? For starters, think light-bodied, medium-high acid, low-medium tannin, unoaked or lightly oaked reds. The quintessential example and one that many credit as the trend-starter of this chill movement is Beaujolais. The Gamay grape is the perfect chillable red because it has this beautiful juicy red berry fruit that really pops when you put a slight chill on it. Grab a bottle of Lot 218 Beaujolais-Villages and see what we mean. Expect succulent notes of plums, strawberries, and raspberries. 

Another great option includes Lot 226 Chinon. This wine is made from 100% Cabernet Franc and comes from vineyards on limestone and gravelly soils. This luscious wine has notes of ripe raspberries and a silky graphite characteristic unique to Cabernet Franc grown in this region of the Loire Valley. It’s quite the elegant red. 

My all time favorite chillable reds are Pinot Noir. Lot 221 Sancerre Pinot Noir and Lot 137 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir are two Pinots that I would absolutely serve with a little chill. Our Sancerre Pinot Noir is produced in France’s Loire Valley and has beautiful tart cherry aromas with lingering earthy and floral notes that shine beautifully when slightly chilled. Lot 137 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir is your go to Oregon Pinot. It has all the beautiful fruit notes you’d expect, fresh strawberries, raspberries, along with spicier notes like clove and a touch of cedar. 

What about California Cabernet Sauvignon? Wines that have more oak aging and are fuller bodied tend to do better when served a bit warmer, between 55-65 degrees. 

At the end of the day, ALL reds will benefit from a slight chill. It’s all about defining certain characteristics of your chosen red wine and matching it up with the right temperature. And hey, some of it is personal preference! 

This article was written by 90+ Cellars International Wine Buyer,  Alex Shaughnessy.

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