This summer, we're saying "no way, rosé," or at least this week. Instead, you'll find us exploring the wide and wonderfully delicious world of chilled red wine, which is just regular red wine that you put in the fridge. But it doesn't work for every type! We tapped Brian Robinson, the owner of one of our favorite wine stores, Gnarly Vines in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, to share the basics as well as a shopping list, of course.
What's so special about Gnarly Vines?
We believe in the broad spectrum of wine styles and tastes. We cover our bases with the obvious picks but then supplement them with cool, obscure wines from places like Macedonia and the Canary Islands.
In summer, shouldn't we just abandon reds altogether and stick with whites and rosés?
Definitely not. There are lots of lighter-bodied reds that work great in the summer—plus, sometimes, people don't eat much during hot summer days and get very hungry at night. Full-bodied reds go great with BBQ—even on a hot summer night.
What determines whether you can or cannot chill a bottle of red wine?
It needs to have low tannins, a light body, and fresh primary fruit flavors—think strawberry, cherry, raspberry, pomegranate and cranberry.
How long should we chill it for?
About half an hour in the fridge, assuming it comes from a temperature-controlled wine store that's about 70 degrees to begin with.
Where is the best place to drink a good chilled red, in your opinion?
Here, Robinson recommends 12 amazing reds that, like most things in life, are better with a little chill.
2014 Dominique Piron Morgon 'La Chanaise,' Beaujolais, France
A light red made in Beaujolais in southern Burgundy from Gamay. Fresh red fruits balanced by ample acidity. Refreshing and very food friendly!
2013 Bruno Verdi Buttafuoco, Oltrepo Pavese, Lombardy, Italy
This is an elegant wine that gives loads of pleasure without the drama! Hand-harvested and farmed organically, it's a light-bodied, fresh blend with gentle tannins and tasty red berry flavors.
2014 Domaine Pascal Bellier Cheverny Rouge, Loire Valley, France
Pascal Bellier is a young winemaker and frequent gold medal winner at the annual Loire Wine Fair. His cheverny is light-bodied, slightly earthy, and very food-friendly. Dried cherry, tobacco honey, bergamot and forest floor aromas give way to earthy strawberry, damson, and apple flavors.
2013 Ameztoi "Stimatum" Getariako Txakolina Tinto, Spain
Ignacio Ameztoi is the seventh-generation winemaker from his family's winery, which is situated in the Pyrenees, with a majestic view overlooking the town of San Sebastian and the Atlantic Ocean. This grape, hondarrabi beltza, is the main dark-skinned variety of the Basque region of Spain, the only place it is grown, and this lively wine is a great, lightweight summer red. Pair it with some pintxos (Basque tapas) such as sausage, idiazabal, or txipirones (baby squid).
2014 Jean Vullien St-Jean de la Porte Mondeuse, Savoie, France
Mondeuse is a red grape typical of the Savoie region of eastern France, often used as a blending grape with gamay or pinot noir. This wine is 100% mondeuse, from sustainably farmed vines. Reminiscent of a Beaujolais, it's light and juicy with bright acidity, notes of dark cherries, and a hint of gunpowder.
2014 Frank Cornelissen Contadino Rosso, Sicily, Italy
Frank's philosophy is to use what nature provides him. This wine is 85 percent nerello mascalese, blended with other local varietals: the average age of the vines is more than 50 years old. Gnarly, indeed. Nevertheless, this is a light fresh red with lots of unfiltered texture. Aromas of funky tide-pool brine, pomegranate, and rosemary. Beautiful fresh red fruit flavors with an herbal background, firm tannins, and minerality.
2015 Marcel Lapierre Raisins Gaulois, Beaujolais, France
The baby wine to the Lapierre's famous Morgon, this is what the French refer to as a glou glou wine. You just want to chug it all day long!
2012 Berioles Les Grandes Brieres - Saint-Pourcain, Auvergne, Loire Valley, France
A blend of gamay and pinot noir, this is all about fresh fruits. Light enough to drink on its own, there's also enough salivating acidity to pair beautifully with easy fare.
2012 Tenutae Lageder Romigberg Kalterersee Classico, Alto Adige, Italy
A biodynamic beauty from the Kalterersee region of northeastern Italy. 100% schiava, this wine has a lithe body and brilliant ruby color with charming cherry fruit, a whiff of violets, and an intriguing touch of bitter almond.
2013 Erste & Neue Leuchtenburg, Kalterersee Auslese Classico Superiore, Alto Adige, Italy
The glowing ruby red color makes this wine as delightful to look at as to drink! Light bodied and silky textured with the gentlest hint of tannins and slightly brambly berry fruit flavors.
2013 Dom de la Renardiere Ploussard, Arbois, Jura, France
Light-bodied and easy on the palate, this wine has red fruit flavors with balanced acidity and subtle to moderate tannins. A delicate, seductive, enticing wine.
2014 Dom de la Renardiere Pupillin Trousseau, Arbois, Jura, France
Light-bodied, subtle, and restrained but with a lot going on. Gorgeous aromatics that draw you into the glass. Very pretty, brambly red berry flavors with balanced acidity and dusty tannins.
For these, and more delicious wines, see gnarlyvines.com.