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Top Six Red Wines to Chill this Summer

Top tips for the coolest reds in town!

by: Cathy Marston | 04 Nov 2010

Come summer time, it seems as if everyone stops drinking red wine and changes to an almost exclusive diet of Sauvignon Blanc. Yes, it’s nice and refreshing but it doesn’t have to be the only answer to summertime – some reds like it a little on the chilly side as well!

The general rule for serving red wines is ‘room temperature’ but you have to remember that this means room temperature in Europe which is considerably less than here in SA. The ideal temperature for serving red wines is between 15 and 18 degrees Celsius, so during South African summers, all red wines will benefit from spending a short time in a fridge before serving. However, some take it to the next level and actively revel in a dip in an ice bucket as well to offer a refreshing alternative to chilled whites – this is my pick of some favourites:

2010 Kleine Zalze Gamay Noir   R38 Aroma Cellars

A light and fruity grape which is traditionally served slightly chilled in its home region of Beaujolais in France. This example is full of soft cherry fruit and is delicious after half an hour in an ice bucket.

NV Solms-Astor Cape Jazz Shiraz                      R55 from the cellar

Our latest Vin-atics partner is Solms-Delta and they produce this fab, frothy and fruity little number which absolutely cries out for an ice bucket. It’s lightly carbonated and contains a nice dollop of sweetness to take the chill off a little!

2007 Backsberg Elbar                   R64 from the cellar

A mad blend of mainly Mediterranean cultivars including some some Sangiovese and Zinfandel just for the heck of it! It has nice red fruit flavours and a lovely herbal finish so try it with pastas, salads or a good homemade burger.

2009 Secateurs Red Blend           R67.50 from Wine Concepts, Newlands

A mainly-Rhone blend from top winemaker, Adi Badenhorst, this has lots of ripe, soft, juicy black fruit and easy-drinking tannins. A great wine to go with any braai, this will go down well after a little time in the fridge.

2008 Tierhoek Grenache  R82 Aroma Cellars

Another grape from the Southern part of France, this is used in a lot of rose wine in Provence and the surrounding areas. But even when made into a red wine, it retains its bright, juicy red fruit and chilling it slightly really accentuates the interesting licorice and strawberry notes.

2007 First Sighting Pinot Noir    R103 from Wine Concepts, Newlands

Pinot Noir is a very elegant grape variety and the easiest to turn into soup in hot weather! Make sure you don’t over-chill this as there are some soft tannins which could become harsh if it’s too cold, but 20mins in the bucket should enhance all the ripe strawberry fruit.

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