Break The Rules, Chill Your Red Wines
White and rosé wines are popular during the summer months because they're usually served chilled, making them so crisp & refreshing. They are placed in ice buckets at your table while dining out and pulled out of the fridge on warm Saturday afternoons to drink on a sun-drenched patio. We've been told that white and rosé wine varietals belong in the fridge and red wine belongs on the wine rack, served only at room temperature. We don't know who wrote these rules on wine drinking, but we’re here to break them once and for all! This summer, let your red wines have the limelight and serve them chilled. We promise, you’ll never want to go back.
The beauty of a chilled red wine is that as you sip, it will slowly warm up in the glass, making every sip a little bit different from the last — giving you the full expression of the wine. When red wine is chilled, the warm fruit and hot alcohol will be slightly muted, resulting in a crisp and refreshing mouthfeel while maintaining the tannic structure and boldness of the wine. As it warms in your glass back to room temperature, you are slowly introduced to the flavor characteristics and the influence of the alcohol and tannin.
Since you’re still reading, we know you’re interested! Read on to find out:
- The best red wine varietals to serve chilled
- How to successfully chill your wine to the perfect temperature
- Our favorite chilled red wine cocktail recipe and food pairing
Make chilled reds your new summer crush!
Which Wines To Chill?
Truth be told, sometimes we chill all of our red wines! Why? Because we love the flavor expression and evolution of the wine in the glass. Also, in the warm summer months our red wines get too warm and it can ruin the complexity and depth of the wine when they’ve warmed above room temperature.
But as a rule of thumb, the best reds to enjoy chilled are usually light to medium bodied with a lower alcohol volume. It’s best to avoid heavy reds with heavy tannin and oak influence. We’d recommend focusing on lighter, fruitier red wines. Young bright Pinot Noirs, Beaujolais from the juicy Gamay grape, or Cabernet Francs from cooler climate regions are ideal for chilling.
- Try chilling our vibrant and opulent Reserve Pinot Noir, which has succulent aromas of crushed raspberry, rhubarb and candied cherry. We’re always reaching for a Pinot Noir when we want a nicely chilled red wine. Pair with a warm summer evening, grilled salmon and vegetable kabobs.
- For a wine that’s more full-bodied, chill our McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2019 California Red Blend about 20 minutes before you’re ready to sip. Enticing black cherry and warm cocoa aromas are mixed with fresh raspberry and plum on the nose. As the wine warms up, the nose evolves into toasty oak, vanilla and black tea leaves. Chocolate and cherry follow you into the palate with luscious and silky tannins. It’s a great wine to pair with seared tuna or a filet mignon. Get the wine in our Bold & Boujie red wine six pack here.
- A wine you always want to chill, no matter what, is our smooth, bold and bright McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic Bubbly Red. Every sip is full of juicy pomegranate and strawberry with ripe blackberry and just a hint of peppery spice. Whenever you’re serving a sparkling wine, make sure it’s been in the fridge for a few hours. Make it a moment and sip this wine in a can with BBQ Ribs or your favorite bag of chips.
Even though some reds may be more suitable for chilling, we suggest you try chilling any red varieties you want and see what works best for your taste and palate!
Be mindful of approaching chilling red wine with care, as overchilling can alter the flavor profile. The key is to make sure the wine is chilled but not cold. According to Vinepair, if a red wine is too cold, below 55 degrees, the flavors will almost be completely muted making the astringency a bit overwhelming. Here’s a few tips to maximize your cool red wine experience:
- Chill your wine in the fridge for approximately 30-40 minutes before drinking
- Use a metal or plastic wine cooler (or ice bucket) to help keep the temperature low once the wine is out of the fridge
- Avoid adding ice cubes to your glass as it will water down the wine
- For those in a hurry, pop the bottle in a freezer for 8-10 minutes
Food and Wine Pairings
Pinot Noir + BLT Salad
Image and recipe via Urban Bliss Life
Pair our Reserve Pinot Noir with light, creamy salads, such as this BLT salad, which is a perfect summer cookout dish. A delicious, crunchy combination that features bacon, tomatoes, soft pasta and more, this is an ideal comfort food for any time. For those who are not a fan of dairy, there’s also a vegan option to make this dish!
New York Sour + Cheese Board
Image and recipe via A Couple Cooks
- 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) bourbon whiskey
- 1 ounce ( 2 tablespoons) lemon juice
- ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) maple syrup or simple syrup
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) McBride Sisters Collection Black Girl Magic 2018 California Merlot (available in our Bold & Boujie red wine six pack)
- Add the bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup to a cocktail shaker and fill it with a handful of ice. Shake until very cold.
- Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball or Old Fashioned glass.
- Carefully pour the red wine over the back of a spoon just above the surface of the drink, creating a layer on top. Serve with a lemon twist if desired.
Pair this delicious cocktail with a cheese board featuring cheeses such as Roquefort, brie, and cheddar. Chilling red wines is no myth. Try experimenting with a few different chilled varieties this summer and find what works best for you. Break the rules. Chill your red wines.