7 Red Wines to Chill

By Linnea Covington  |  August 19, 2013

While some might consider throwing red wine in the fridge a sacrilege, there are certain reds that lend themselves to slightly cooler temps. The coolness tends to subdue some of the bold flavors red wines exude, but it can also smooth some vinos out and turn a rich blend into something refreshing. Look for bold spicy reds that have a variety of flavor notes at room temp. Read on for six under-$30 wines that benefit nicely from a half hour or so in the fridge (or 15 minutes on ice).

When you chill Vina Zaco 2010 Tempranillo, its subtle complexity shines through softly without undercutting the rich, bold undertone. It can lighten a meat-laden meal, or make a nice pairing with soft cheeses, orange slices and crusty bread. Meanwhile, Thorny Rose’s Red Blend, a casual Columbia Valley vino, really blossoms with some coolness - the dark berry flavors get muted into a subtler sweetness and, with its strong tannin undertone, it pairs well with burgers and chilly chunks of fresh watermelon. Another American blend you should chill for the next barbecue is Clos du Bois 2010 Rouge from California. Its blend of Merlot, Syrah, Petite Sirah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Tempranillo and Tannat all work together to give it notes of dark berries with a hint of chocolate and a gentle touch of oak. Finally, try accompanying your plates of grilled meat with Quivira 2011 Wine Creek Ranch Grenache from Sonoma. This light red exudes strawberry with a hint of spiciness - flavors that just get more complex when you cool them off.

Some European reds can also benefit from a little cool-down. At room temperature, the Allegrini 2011 Valpolicella exudes notes of cherry and plum. Chilling mutes these tastes and brings out a darker, dustier cocoa flavor. Piccini Memoro Vino Rosso D’Italia, a luscious mixture of Primitivo, Montepulciano, Nero d’Avola and Merlot, exudes notes of dark cherry and coffee that hold up well when chilled. Lastly, pop a bottle of the full-bodied Saint-Laurent 2010 Chinon La Vigne en Véron in the fridge. Its striking red-fruit qualities will really pop, while its grounding tobacco essence will be brought to the forefront.