Red wine in the fridge? Hear us out…
There is typically an accepted rule that white wines are served chilled, and red wines at room temperature. This often leaves them in a seasonal pigeon hole: white for summer, red for winter. However, we are big believers in enjoying wine your way, and that includes taking into account the environment you are enjoying it. With that, we are on the ‘pro’ side of what has long been assumed a cardinal sin for wine: drinking red wine chilled.
In European regions, the environment is much more conducive to the perfect conditions to store wines at room temperature. In Australia, we have significantly higher median temperatures, particularly in the hotter months, and leaving your red wine out can actually change the taste in noticeable ways. And, when it’s hot and humid, the idea of drinking a bold red is just not appealing.
There’s no need to abandon reds in warmer months, though. In fact, you can maintain, even improve, the notes of your red wine by keeping it in the fridge or in colder areas of your home, depending on the variety.
So, which red wine should you chill?
Reds are more often served at room temperature because cooling them down subdues the primary fruit flavours of the wine. Room temperature for wines should be around 15 degrees, whereas the median room temperature in Australia is closer to 23 degrees. Additionally, over extended periods of sudden temperature fluctuation can gradually degrade the character of the wine.
Over-cooling full-bodied wines can result in a “closed” wine with flavours becoming dull, subdued and over magnifying drying tannins. This prevents you from enjoying the wide variety of complex notes displayed in a heavier red. So, it’s important to choose the right reds to chill.
The best reds to pop in the fridge are lighter bodied varieties like our Sangiovese and Barbera. You can even chill some fortified wines like Crème De Vin. It’s about the features of the wine; if the red you’re wanting to chill is enjoyed because it is fruity, light and easy to drink, you’re probably safe to cool it. If it’s more complex and bold, it might not be the best choice to chill it, without risking a loss of its integrity.
How to properly cool red wines
Unlike white wines, when we say ‘chill’ we don’t mean to keep it stored immediately in the fridge until you’re ready to drink it. Instead, you want it to be just below room temperature: refreshing, but not cold cold. It’s about keeping it within its ideal temperature range of 12-15 degrees.
The best way to enjoy a cooler red is to store it somewhere dry and out of direct sunlight, and then put it in the fridge about 15 minutes before you start drinking.
So before winter hits, it might be time to chill with a red.
Explore our range of red wines here