Can you drink red wine on hot days?
Our wine theme of the month is chillable reds and if it sounds like an oxymoron, read on.
This week's Regional wine blog offers practical tips on how to drink red wine cooler than usual, along with a bunch of the best suggestions from our staff picks of what we regard as the most delicious dry reds to drink chilled, which can actually taste even better when lightly cooled down.
Tips for drinking red wines when it's hot...
Read on for our top tips
Tip 1 - Time is of the essence - less is more
Light chilled reds taste better than wines chilled to within an inch of their lives. In general, 30 minutes in the fridge works well. Too much longer can mask fruit flavours and make wine taste hard edged. Less is more.
Tip 2 - Choose the right red
What you drink is as important as how you drink it when the weather is warm and reds can seem overpowering if they are served too hot. These five wines work well. flavourwise, when chilled lightly, because they contain moderate to low tannins.
1. Gamay and Beaujolais. Local versions include Easthope, Mount Edward and Te Mata Gamays and ask our staff to point you to our Beaujolais shelves.
2. Pinot Noir made in light fruity styles - top recommendations here include Deliverance from North Canterbury, Mansion House Bay from Marlborough and Gold River from Central Otago.
3. Valpolicella from north east Italy. Light, fruity and fresh with soft tannins.
4. Dolcetto from north west Italy. This can work well chilled but depends on the style.
5. Any red that you enjoy when it's chilled. There are no hard and fast rules. If it tastes good to you, enjoy.
Tip 3 - Avoid dark tannic reds
Big bold tannins tend to taste harsh and astringent when chilled so best give wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz a big wide swerve when the weather is hot. Unless you want to enjoy these reds at room temperature or very lightly cooled.
Tip 4 - Fast way to cool wine
If time is short and drinks need to be served quickly, go for...
1. Ten minutes in the freezer or...
2. An ice bucket with your light, soft red in it.
Tip 5 - Focus on wine style rather than grape
Less is more when it comes to tannins in chilled red wines but if the wine was intentionally made in a light style, then Shiraz might work well. The trick is to focus on the style of the wine - if it's soft, light to medium bodied or even a deep pink rosé, it will work well when chilled.