Best Way to Enjoy Chillable Red Wines

'Chillable' and 'red wine' in the same sentence? Here's why it can work with certain styles.

Published December 19, 2022
Red wine, man evaluates the color of wine in a glass

If you weren't drinking chillable reds five years ago, hopefully you are now. These are the juicy numbers that make you choose red over white on a balmy summer evening concert in the park. Think gamay, blaufränkisch, or any number of light-hearted blends that are brimming with poppy red fruits. Endlessly delicious and perfect for a handful of occasions, chillable red wines really should be in your regular rotation.

Which Reds Are Chillable Reds?

There are a few grapes and styles that are really well-suited to be enjoyed with a slight chill. Typically, these are light to medium bodied reds with racy acidity and mellow tannins. We're not talking icy cold here, more like around 50°F (10°C). Which is colder than you might think if you've been serving your red wine at room temperature. Even a heady cab sauv should be served cooler than room temp. Wine serving temperature varies grape to grape and style to style, and it's important stuff, as it has a big impact on how you perceive aromas and flavors.

A few reds that are particularly tasty when chilled are gamay, pinot noir, trousseau, zweigelt, trollinger, and ploussard. These all have bright acidity and juicy fruit-forward flavors that make them extra poppy when sipped cool. There are also ample red blends that really shine when chilled down a bit. Think cool-climate varietals that are lighter in body with mouthwatering acidity.

When to Drink Chilled Red Wines

Chillable red wines are super versatile. From summer barbeque to autumn wood-fired pizza, they can really flow with any season. Their crunchy fruit flavors of ripe strawberry, sour cherry, pomegranate, and cranberry are extra refreshing when ever-so-slightly cold. These wines are also sometimes carbonically fermented, meaning that the berries aren't crushed but rather left to ferment from the inside out, making for a pop-rock-esque explosion of flavor on your palate. This style was meant to be enjoyed slightly cold to really enhance the fresh vibe that the wine is all about.

Pairing Chillable Reds

No need to be intimidated when it comes to pairing these wines with whatever you're cooking. These light-bodied reds are incredibly food friendly thanks to all their zippy acidity. Unlike some big hitter wines, like Barolo, chillable reds don't have grippy tannins that can quickly clash with certain foods. Think of chillable reds as your easy-going foreign friend that gets along with everybody. Grill up some chicken wings, serve with that messy slider, or pair with a caprese salad in high summer. Most barbeque, roasted vegetables dishes, picnic prone foods, and pizza will go great with a chillable red, so get creative!

Check Out These Chillable Reds for Your Starting Line-up

Need some inspo? These reds were made to be fridge chilled and sipped up like sunshine.

  • Furlani 'Negrik' Rosso Alpino: From Trentino-Alto-Adige in Italy this native grape, negrik, is grown at up in the hills at 2,300 feett (700m). It's all juicy fruit bursting across your palate with zippy notes of strawberry, red currant, and black plum. An absolute delight.
  • Christina Zweigelt: Are you one of those people that eats a pint of blueberries in one sitting? If so, you need this wine in your life. This dark purple Austrian number is packed full of blueberry notes matched with tart cranberry, raspberry, and a hint of warm cinnamon.
  • Vignobles Builliat Morgon Nature Gamay: A classic expression of gamay from Beaujolais, France, this wine has a brilliant nose of violets, blueberries, sour cherry, and raspberry jam. Earthy undertones of licorice and eucalyptus round out this juicy red.
  • Domain Overnoy-Crinquand Arboi-Pupillin Trousseau 2019: Oo la la. A complex and elegant red with ripe raspberry and cranberry matched by wet stone and air-dried kitchen herbs. This could be your unicorn.
  • Milan Nestarec 'Forks and Knives' Red: A gem from the Czech Republic, Nestarec has captured the bright red fruit of pinot noir in this bottle. Think cran-razz Capri-Sun but all grown-up with a little blackberry jam and balsamic rounding out the palate.

Juicy & Cool

If you're looking for an easy drinking glou-glou, deep dive into chillable red wines. You won't regret it. Fruit-forward and bright with acidity, these wonders are good chilled in a mason jar at the beach or dolled up at a candle-lit dinner party. Choose your own adventure.

Best Way to Enjoy Chillable Red Wines