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Cool it

There are glimpses of sunshine now and again these days, so it's not such a bad idea from time to time to try a light red wine lightly chilled.

Certain wines are better than others treated this way, generally younger, relatively less alcoholic ones, and often those from cooler growing regions. You might sentence the following to a spell in the cooler, for starters, and see what you think:

  • The red wines of the Beaujolais, including the cru wines (Fleurie and Brouilly are among the more familiar on Irish shelves);
  • Pinot Noirs, though I wouldn't raid the old man's prize collection. The more affordable wines from the Loire Valley in France, New Zealand or Chile might fit the bill very nicely, with a Wiener Schnitzel or chicken salad perhaps.
  • Having mentioned Pinot Noirs from the Loire, I can't resist recommending its other reds: Cabernet Franc, Gamay and Malbec (often called Côt) are among the usual suspects.
  • There's that Tarrango from Brown Brothers, and any number of lightish (hold the bottle up to the light and see if you can see through it) Spanish and Portuguese wines.

An hour or so in the refrigerator should do the trick on a hot day. I'm not proposing the neuralgic, flavour-suppressant deep-freezing beloved of global draught brewers; just a refreshing coolth a shade below that of, say, a cellar. If you don't like the results, all you have to do is wait a while and you can enjoy your bottle at room temperature.

2 thoughts on “Cool it”

  • Paul

    I love the warmth and so my place is always roasting hot (21deg+). Consequently I almost always give my reds a blast in the fridge for fifteen minutes or so before I open them. Even with big heavy reds, I find that some quiet time beside the butter can knock the "soupy" edge off some of them!

    On a related, but slightly different topic, a good trick I use if white wine isn't chilled -> I put the wine glass in the freezer for six or seven minutes. Take it out and pour in the wine (maybe just a small glass to start with). Anyway, the large surface area of freezing glass to wine cools it right down. The glass benefits from a pleasant "frosting effect" too!

    • Julian

      Useful tips! I'd never thought about a quick chill clarifying heavier reds, but may have to experiment now you've put the idea in my head. And as for freezing the wine glass rather than the bottle, that's briliant lateral thinking, and probably much less disastrous if you should happen to get distracted and forget to retrieve it in time.

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