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The 7 Best Chillable Red Wines to Drink This Summer

The 7 Best Chillable Red Wines to Drink This Summer

Summertime is here and it’s not uncommon for temperatures to reach 80°, 90°, or even 100° degrees—yet wine lovers have long been told they should serve their red wines at room temperature. This presents a problem because room temperature is generally around 74° year-round with modern heating and air conditioning. But the correct temperature to serve red wine is actually cellar temperature, which is somewhere closer to 55°. This is easy if you live in a sturdy stone chateau with wine niches carved into the limestone cave beneath your house, but since most of us don’t, let’s talk about ways to drop the bottle temperature closer to 55° or 60° and let’s discuss which red wines taste the best when chilled.

Let’s start with a simple idea: don’t be afraid to chill your reds, especially when it’s really hot outside. Heat intensifies the feel of tannins in wine, especially the mouth-coating sensations and drying effects that can make it unpleasant to drink. So, lowering the temperature of the bottle is a good thing to do. When it’s extremely warm neither of us even wants a red wine when the sun is blazing, so often we’ll wait until the sun sets to fire up the grill and drink nicely chilled red wines.

There are a number of methods to get your wine to the proper temperature and keep it there. The easiest is to keep them at 55° in a temperature-controlled wine cooler, but if you haven’t invested in one yet here are some ideas that don’t require a degree in rocket science to execute. You can lower the temperature of your wines simply and effectively by submerging them in an ice bucket for around 20 minutes, then pull the bottle out, dry it off, and place it on the table. If you’re drinking slowly and the bottle starts to heat up, plunge it into the ice again. Repeat as necessary. You can also chill your wine by placing the bottle in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. There are also decanters with sealed ice inserts that won’t dilute your wine, and there’s even an “icicle” style rod you can freeze and insert into neck of the bottle. Whichever method you choose, you’ll be happier when you drink your wine slightly chilled. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to discern the aromas and flavors if you don’t make it too cold.

It’s also important to choose wines that have lower tannins and are aged for less time in oak barrels than some of our favorite heavy-hitting Napa Cabs. Seek out Gamay from Beaujolais, lightly aged Tempranillo from Spain, Sangiovese from Italy, lightly oaked Malbec and Carmenere from Argentina and Chile respectively, and Grenache-based wines from the Rhône Valley. Here are seven we’ve been drinking this week and will continue to enjoy all summer long.



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