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Chilled Red Wine

I will never forget growing up and regularly seeing a bottle of red resting on top of the dining room cabinet next to the hot water pipe "warming nicely for dinner". This seemed normal to me at the time: red at room temperature (if not warmer) and white chilled. No matter what the wine, this was and still is a common misconception of wine consumers today.

Many red wines in restaurants, pubs and even at wine tasting events are served too warm. For me the main reason for chilling some reds is to moderate the harsh aroma of alcohol and to bring out the fruity and aromatic characteristics within the wine. It can also provide another level of re-freshment and enjoyment along with unlocking some new and exciting food and wine pairings.

I'm not saying chuck it in the freezer for an hour or two: over chilling wine can have negative ef-fects, numbing the flavour almost completely (this also applies for whites). But lighter unoaked red, such as Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Blaufrankisch, Corvina, Tempranillo are delicious at around 13 to 14C. Fifteen to twenty minutes in a fridge before consumption should be just fine. The great thing is if you do find the wine a little too chilled and not to your taste it will soon come to your pre-ferred temperature.

Granted there are exceptions. Chilling red wine that's high in tannin can harshen this effect, making it seem bitter and astringent. Heavily oaky reds don't benefit from being too chilled either. Let your personal preference guide you and experiment with some of the recommendations bellow.


Chilled Red and Food Pairing Suggestions

Chilled Beaujolais (Morgon) - Dark chocolate ganache

Providing the chocolate used is not too sweet, (around 70% coco) this is a great pairing. The bitter-ness of the chocolate is nicely offset by the subtle pepper, and the high acid stops the ganache from being to cloying. With Morgon being a fuller style of Beaujolais this carries the finish nicely, with bursts of strawberry. Chilled Shiraz and chocolate can also work a treat. 

Alsace Pinot Noir - Mozzarella and tomato salad

This is a wonderful pairing. The wine has a fresh aromatic nose of strawberry and raspberry, with high enough acidity to balance with the tomatoes. The chilled wine carries the mozzarella and the freshness of the dish, making it the perfect lunch time treat.

Chilled Valpolicella - Home cooked BBQ

Cold white wine and a plate of poorly grilled meat just doesn't do it for me. Valpolicella with its vi-brant cherry and spicy pallet works nicely and holds up to those questionable burgers. The light body and soft texture makes it perfect for chilling.

Chilled Chinon - Beef tartare

A dish of raw beef needs a red with just a little tannin to break down the delicate protein. A rustic and herbaceous Chinon with a hint of ripe tomato will hold up to the richness of this dish Especially if serving it classically with raw egg yolk.


Date: 21/08/2017 | Author: