Chill Out! Brit Wine Experts Say Cooling Reds is Just Fine

 


The summer sun is wielding its surly heat and those of us who suffer beneath its burly rays have learned well that a summer party isn't complete without a chilled bottle of white wine.
 
Red wines stay on the counter until they're ready to be quaffed, right?
 
Not so fast, The Telegraph  reporter Kate Hawkings wrote this past week in the United Kingdom-based newspaper. Feel free to toss that Cab Franc into the fridge for a spell.
 
“White is the go-to wine in the summer: many of us keep a bottle ready in the fridge for when the sun's over the yardarm and it's time for a cooling tincture,” Hawkings wrote. “Reach for the red, is my advice: because, controversial as it might seem, cold red wine makes brilliant summer drinking.”
 
Gasp! Chilled red wines? Ice bucket requests at restaurants? Not the blasphemy you might think. 
 
Hawkings wrote about an experience she had on a hot day at a London restaurant in which she asked for a bucket of ice along with her Spanish red.
 
The waiter hesitated. 
 
“After gentle insistence, he brought the bucket and the wine was transformed,” she wrote. “Floppy and a little bit sickly when warm, after ten minutes on ice the lovely raspberry-scented, cherry fruit was sharpened and brought into focus and the gentle mineral crunch came to the fore.” 
 
The reasoning behind chilling wines is somewhat similar to the reason behind decanting wines – certain flavors are unlocked/accented when the process takes place.
Sweetness is reduced in a chilled red, fruit flavors gain vitality and the alcohol is softened. But these effects, Hawkings noted, are suitable for nimble red wines which are light and juicy. 
 
Big reds benefit in other ways, namely in the cold temperature's ability to elevate tannins “pulling something potentially wobbly nicely into shape.” 
 
Beware, though, for wines which are full-bodied or super oaky will have a tough time managing the cold. 
 
Outside of taste, chilling a red means you can have some heat-quenching relief as you work through a grilled steak. 
 
If you can't stomach seeing your Pinot Noir languishing in the chilled recesses of your fridge, a fruit-laden pitcher of Sangria may do the trick.
 
Hawkings also pointed out you may enjoy a frosty glass of tinto de verano, a Spanish treasure in which red wine is mixed with lemonade or lemon tonic.
 
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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