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The wintery days of full-bodied reds
and mulled wine may be over, but
that doesn't mean you should skip
red wine this summer. In fact, there
are many fresh and fruity options
that are perfect served chilled.
Monique Ziervogel, sommelier at Villandry
St James's, certainly believes that red wine is
more than just a drink for winter. "There are
so many wine styles, irrespective of its colour.
For example, the palate weight of some white
wines, like an oaky Chardonnay, can be more
than that of a light Gamay Noir," she says.
For Dylan Jansen, bar manager at The
Only Running Footman restaurant, it's the
temperature of red wine that is crucial. "The
warmer the wine, the more alcoholic it tastes.
Too hot or cold temperatures will also impact
the wine's aroma," he says. "Chilling a red wine
makes it noticeably less tannic, which will be
more appealing to t hose who prefer white wine."
But which red wines t this bill? As a rule of
thumb, pick one that is light- to medium-bodied,
with fewer tannins, good acidity and moderate
alcohol. Also opt for more fruit-driven wines,
with less or no oak in uence.
France o ers a plethora of options to choose
from, from the Cabernet Francs of the Loire
Valley and the Grenache-based blends of the
Southern Rhône, to Gamay Noir from Beaujolais
and the Pinot Noirs of Burgundy.
Pinot Noir, with its delicate nature, is an
obvious choice for chilling and is produced in a
great many countries around the world, often
at a fraction of the price it will set you back in
its traditional home of Burgundy. New Zealand,
South Africa, the US, Chile, Austria and even
Germany (where it is called Spätburgunder)
all produce some great Pinots.
Other varieties to try chilled this summer
include Cinsault, Carignan, Barbera, Sangiovese
Most of these lighter red wines are ideal for
any summer occasion, be it an alfresco lunch,
a picnic in the countryside, or a barbeque.
They are generally quite versatile and ideal
for matching with a range of di erent foods.
Jansen suggests pairing chilled reds with salty
food, beef, poultry, duck, and tomato and garlic
sauces. "They work well with seafood, preferably
less oily sh, as well as salads," he says.
Serving temperature will depend on style and
palate weight. John Hoskins MW, owner of The
Old Bridge Hotel, Restaurant and Wine Shop, is a
fan of Pinot Noir in
the summer and
it at around 16°C.
"I would serve
Gamay Noir and
other lighter reds at around 14°C, with 18°C the
maximum for heavier red wines," he says.
So how do you get the temperature just right?
Stick the bottle in the fridge for around 20 to 30
minutes, or in an ice bucket lled with water and
ice for around 10 to 15 minutes. But don't add ice
to the glass itself - this will dilute and over-chill
the wine, masking the avours. And remember,
it's better to serve it slightly too cold than too
warm - you can always warm the wine in the
glass by cupping it in your hands.
With the temperatures on the rise it's time to
think about your warm weather drinking, so why
not try something di erent this year and enjoy
the long summer days with a glass of properly
chilled, fresh and fruity red wine.
Warm weather calls for cool wine and there are plenty
of lighter reds that are perfect for summer drinking
after a spell in the fridgeWORDS ELONA HESSELING PHOTO STEPHEN LENTHALL
Serve lighter reds at 14ºC, with 18ºC
the maximum for heavier red wines
chill out COOL CUSTOMERS
Domaine du Colombier Chinon
Cabernet Franc 2011, Loire Valley,
France £7, Sainsbury's
Strawberries, blueberries and spice, with meaty
and herbal � avours. It is elegant and light, with
fresh fruit - perfect for an alfresco lunch or
countryside picnic served with � sh, charcuterie,
mild cheese, or asparagus.
Percheron Old Vine Cinsault 2013,
Western Cape, South Africa
Dried fruits, mulberries, strawberries and boiled
candy on the nose. It is soft and vibrant, with
red fruit, savoury and spicy notes, which will
complement grilled sausages, sandwiches, or
spiced burgers. Enjoy at a picnic or barbeque.
Mission Estate 'Greenmeadows'
Pinot Noir 2013, Martinborough,
New Zealand £13.99, Laithwaites
Red cherries and strawberries, with sweet spice
and � oral notes. Lots of red fruit, with a lovely
freshness that will cut through creamy brie or
camembert cheese. Sip in the early afternoon
while soaking up the sun in the garden.