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Chillable Reds: Light and Refreshing Red Wines Perfect for Summer

Do you love red wine but find it too heavy and intense for warm weather? Chillable reds might be the perfect solution! Here’s everything you need to know about these light, refreshing wines:

What are Chillable Reds?

Chillable reds are red wines that are best served at a slightly lower temperature, usually between 55°F to 65°F (13°C to 18°C). These wines are lighter in body, lower in tannins, and higher in acidity than traditional full-bodied red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. They are perfect for warm weather and are refreshing and easy to drink when served chilled.

White Wine Grapes beginning fermentation.

How are Chillable Red Wines Different?

They are made from grape varieties that are less tannic and more acidic than other types of red wine. Some popular grape varieties used for chillable red wines include Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Zweigelt. They are produced using minimal intervention winemaking techniques, such as natural fermentation and aging in neutral oak barrels or concrete tanks. These wines are often made using carbonic maceration, a winemaking technique in which whole grapes are placed in a sealed container and undergo a fermentation process that allows them to ferment inside their own skins. This process can highlight the fruit and acidity of the wine while tamping down the tannins, resulting in a more approachable, lighter style of red wine. This allows the wine to express its natural flavors and aromas, resulting in a lighter, more delicate wine.

Characteristics of Chillable Reds

Chillable reds are typically light to medium-bodied, with fresh acidity, low tannins, and bright fruit flavors. These wines are usually produced from grapes grown without pesticides or herbicides. They are often made using organic or biodynamic farming practices. Chillable reds also have a lower alcohol content, making them more refreshing and easier to drink when served chilled.

Flavors and Aromas of Chillable Reds

Chillable red wines often have bright and lively fruit flavors, such as red berries, cherries, plums, and floral and herbal notes. They may also exhibit earthy or mineral qualities. Some may have a slightly funky or wild character due to natural yeasts and minimal intervention winemaking techniques.

White Wine Grapes beginning fermentation.

Pairing Chillable Reds with Food

Chillable reds are incredibly versatile when it comes to food pairings. They pair well with lighter dishes like grilled fish, roasted chicken, mushroom risotto, charcuterie, and cheese plates. The bright acidity and fruit flavors of these wines can help to balance out richer or saltier foods. At the same time, the lower tannins and alcohol content makes them a good match for lighter fare.

Regions that Produce Chillable Reds

Chillable reds are produced in many regions worldwide, including:

  • Loire Valley, France: Chinon and Bourgueil appellations produce light-bodied red wines from Cabernet Franc grapes.
  • Etna, Sicily: Nerello Mascalese grape produces bright acidity and complex flavor profiles.
  • Beaujolais, France: Gamay grape produces light-bodied, fruit-forward red wines.
  • Germany: Dornfelder, Blaufränkisch, and Spätburgunder, aka pinot noir grapes, produce wines with low to moderate tannins and bright fruit flavors
  • Chile: País, aka Mission, is an old grape variety that is common in Chile and is used to produce a rustic and flavorful wine style native to Chile called Pipeño. These wines are typically light-bodied, high-acid, and low-tannin, with bright flavors like raspberry and strawberry.

Other notable regions include the Jura in France, the Santa Cruz Mountains in California, and the Yarra Valley in Australia.

So, whether you’re grilling up some fish or enjoying a cheese plate on a warm summer day, consider reaching for one of our great bottles of chillable reds!