Beck accidentally discovers chilled red wine and now can’t stop drinking the stuff.
Ignoring siesta and working on our Murcia sun- slap, we point randomly at a wine on the menu and hope for the best. Off the beaten track and flitting between deserted tapas bars. Out comes the waiter with a bottle, a bucket and three glasses. It’s red. A chilled red! Gasp! As no one around the table seems to have expanded their Spanish beyond – “me IIamo…” and “juego al fútbol”... we give each the eye and decide to roll with it.
When the sun is out, it’s hard to imagine slurping on anything other than a delicious crisp white wine or a pale rosé. But after my encounter with the Murcia waiter, it’s all about chilled reds.
According to those in the know, this is a thing and the Spanish (among others) have been throwing their reds in an ice bucket since who knows when (so not just discovered by a group of wine-nots on holiday, a-hem). Those chilling temperatures bring out the fruit and make it as refreshing as a white. It would seem, not every red needs to deliver a rich three-tiered experience.
Chilling works better with lighter and fruiter styles – sprightly Pinot Noirs, red Sancerres, a tarty Beaujolais and fresh Cabinet Franc. Some of the Italians also work when taken down in temperature, particularly a Valpolicello (bypass the big complex Ripasso or Amarone styles and instead opt for the ‘normale’). Even some of those Austrians – St. Laurent and Blaufränkisch – enjoy a cooling.
So stay light, stick it in the fridge for half an hour and pretend, like I have, you knew this was *a thing* all along:
Top light reds for drinking and chilling
Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois Gamay
One of the Beaujolais’ natural wine superstars. This Gamay is a glass of summer love – tart cherries, fruity raspberries, uncomplicated fun. Read our review
Gerard & Pierre Morin – Sancerre
And you thought Sancerre was red. Well, I did too. Gerard and Pierre offer a light yet multiplex of flavours with their red Sancerre. Read our review
Tenuta di Fessina, Erse Etna Rosso
Blend of red Etna varieties Nerello Mascalese and counterpart Nerello Capuccio – includes a dash of white grapes to keep things interesting. Where we buy.
Domaine La Croix de Chaintres, Saumur–Champigny, Loire, France 2014
Light-bodied Cabernet Franc that feels fresh and bright – lots of ripe red fruits and pretty floral. (Exclusive for Waitrose)
El Castro de Valtuille Mencia Joven 2013/14 Bierzo, Spain
A youthful, quaffable wine, dark purple in colour and light cherries in taste. Where we buy