It’s been a heatwave in London recently, meaning that one of the last things I want to do is drink a heavy red. I’d had chilled red wine only once before at St John. I think it was a chilled Beaujolais but I can’t really remember.
The last two weekends, we discovered how good Tooting Markets are. As good as Brixton, but much cheaper. The first Saturday, we had a sensational breakfast at Brickwood of brioche French toast with cream, maple syrup, and bacon.
Then headed for a glass of wine at Unwined. They said that that they had one red chilled if I wanted to try that. Yes please. It was a Cannonau from Sardinia. And delicious. Light, fruity and fresh.
The next time I had chilled red was last night at 32 Great Queen Street, a cracking little restaurant linked to the legendary Anchor and Hope gastropub in Waterloo. The had one red by the glass that was chilled: IGP Coteaux de l’Ardèche, France, Terres des Vignes, Domaine De La Selve, 14%. Delicious.
It got me thinking about whether all red wine can be chilled. A Google search brought me to Decanter Magazine, which looks reputable, and their advice was to:
As a general rule, you’ll be better off with lighter styles of red with a good dose of primary fruit and without too much tannin.
Five styles to consider chilling:
- Beaujolais plus Gamay wines from other areas if you can find them, such as Oregon or South Africa.
- Valpolicella Classico
- Pinot Noir
- Loire Valley Cabernet Franc
The article quotes Sarah Jane Evans MW and her advice is that in general cheaper wines will benefit from a bit of chilling, and that most red wines should be served between 13C and 18C. 18C for the bigger reds and 13 C for the lighter reds like a Pinot Noir. As a rule of thumb, if you’re looking to chill a red, then put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
I found another great article on the joys of chilled reds in summer from the Telegraph. The writer, Kate Hawkings, writes with gusto on the pleasure. She recommends much the same types of wines as the Decanter article above, but also recommends a fizzy Lambrusco and even a Barolo (but says to go easy on the chilling for this one).
Honestly, try this out before the summer’s over. You won’t regret it!