Why your red wine needs to chill out

Some red wines can be lightly chilled in summer.
Some red wines can be lightly chilled in summer. Photo: Shutterstock

It's been pretty hot right across Australia recently. Ideal red wine weather? Hardly, but there are occasions when only red will do. Drinking reds at a cooler temperature helps, and some grape varieties suit a light chill more than others. Gamay, the grape of France's Beaujolais region, and fruity, spicy, modern grenache both fit the bill well, but don't freeze these red wines to death – 15 or 20 minutes in the fridge should be enough to enhance freshness and quenching qualities without numbing aroma and flavour. Sip these cool reds … cool.

Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2016, $18-$21

Score 89

Adelaide Plains grenache weaving pepper, spice, dark cherries and berries on the nose with honest earthiness. Soft, ripe flavour stops short of jammy, moderate tannins are in good balance. Easy-drinking red that treads lighter than many warm-climate grenaches. Screw cap; 14.5 per cent alcohol.

Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2016.
Longhop Old Vine Grenache 2016. Photo: Supplied

Ageing? Drink over two years.

Stockists include Beaumaris Cellars, Beaumaris (Vic); Different Drop, Ultimo (NSW).

Rising Yarra Valley Gamay 2018, $32-$35

Score 90

Gamay isn't common in the Yarra Valley, perhaps it should be. This gluggable lighter red displays a fruity, floral nose, strawberry and plum fruit, undergrowth notes and inviting succulence. A hint of stem dries the nicely sustained finish for a gently savoury underpinning. Screw cap; 13 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? No.

Stockists include Camperdown Cellars, Camperdown (NSW); ABV Craft Merchants, St Kilda (Vic).

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Turkey Flat Vineyards Grenache 2017, $38-$40

Score 92

Turkey Flat's old vineyard boasts some historic Barossa vines, but this young grenache heads in a modern direction. It opens up perfumed and softly spicy with raspberryish aromas leading through a medium-bodied, juicy mouthful, finishing agreeably soft and friendly. Easy drinking. Screw cap; 14 per cent alcohol.

Ageing? Drink over three years.

Stockists include City Wine Shop, Melbourne (Vic); Summer Hill Wine Shop, Summer Hill (NSW).