It’s finally summer and there is nothing more satisfying than gulping down a cool glass of wine on a hot day. While white wine and rosé are always the obvious choice, this summer you should branch out and explore the pleasures of chillable reds. Every red wine should be served at cellar temperature, easily achieved with about 10 minutes in the refrigerator. However, there are some wines that beg to be chilled down even more and enjoyed with reckless abandon. With barbecue season upon us, reach for juicy, chilled reds for an ideal pairing. The combination of a lightly chilled, light-bodied red wine with charred meat on the grill is one of the highlights of summer. Nothing pairs better with burgers.
There is an easy elegance in imbibing chilled reds. Crisp, high-acid, and fresh, these wines are fruit forward and usually stainless steel fermented in order to allow the natural fruit flavors to shine through. There are no heavy, wintery notes of black pepper, leather, or tobacco that come from oak aging. These wines can take you from the beach to the backyard barbecue with ease.
There are several chillable reds that make wonderful barbeque companions like Mencia from Galicia, Gamay from Beaujolais, certain types of Nero D’Avola from Sicily, Lambrusco from Emilia-Romagna, and lighter styles of Grenache from almost anywhere.
Recommended Chillable Reds
2014 Bodega de Abad Sierra Iberica Mencía, Bierzo $19.99
Shows off a ripe fruity palate with low tannins. Tart Bring cherry, red raspberries, with hints of dried herbs. Chilling it down makes the tart cherry fruit explode form the glass.
2012 Pilgrim Crianza Mencía, Bierzo $21.99
An incredibly aromatic and juicy wine featuring notes of ripe blueberries, pomegranate, and strawberry.
2015 Chateau De Jarnioux Beaujolais, France ($11.99)
Just south of Burgundy lies the wonderful region of Beaujolais. Known for producing outstanding value wines, Beaujolais is best-known for its nouveau wines, fermented for just a few weeks before being released on the third Thursday of November. The fun banana, and bubblegum character of nouveau should not sway your opinion of the wonderful and complex wines from the region. This light red wine made with Gamay grapes offers notes of raspberry, tart cherry, strawberry, and geranium.
2015 Bichot Julienas Roche Granit, Beaujolais, France ($24.99)
This elegant Cru Beaujolais offers stony minerality and fresh, vibrant fruit notes with cotton candy, red berries, and baking spice.
NV Chiarli Lambrusco Vecchia Modena Premium Emilia-Romagna, Italy ($17.99)
Lush notes of rose petal, violet, red cherry, and dried strawberries on the nose and palate. Zesty with elegant bubbles and a refreshing fizz that screams summertime.
2009 Cantina della Volta Lambrusco di Modena Brut Metodo Classico Emilia-Romagna, Italy ($24.99)
This high quality Lambrusco has spent 72 months on its lees giving it a rich and creamy texture. The nose offers notes of rose hips, wild farmers-market strawberries, and candied ginger. The palate enjoys a lovely citrus character of pink grapefruit.
2015 Principe di Corleone Rosso Sicilia, Italy ($17.99)
There are two major styles of Nero D’Avola from Sicily. The first is a black fruit-forward, hedonistic style that is savory with dark chocolate notes from oak aging; these are not suited for summer chilling. The second style better describes this lovely Sicilian red, dominant with tart cherry notes and high acidity. Produced from Nero D’Avola grapes from the finest vineyards in western Sicily, it is the perfect accompaniment to rich grilled red meats.
2015 Barrique Cellars Grenache, Paso Robles, California ($19.99)
Bright and fresh red fruit with notes of clove and white pepper spice. Well-balanced with bracing acidity and soft tannins.
2012 Andrew Rich Grenache, Columbia Valley, Washington ($25.99)
Fragrant, fresh aromas of lavender and red berries. Sweet red fruits on the palate with balance and softness.
2014 Domaine Durieu Plan de Dieu Côtes du Rhône, France ($19.99)
Made up of, 70% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% CIinsault, and 10% Carignan, this wine has much more finesse and elegance than other Côtes du Rhônes. It has delicate tannins with flavors of wild black raspberries that lend itself well to chilling.
Visit Elyse at Schneider’s of Capitol Hill to discover wines you’ll love!