Should You Chill Red Wine? A Guide to Red Wine Temperatures

Should You Chill Red Wine? A Guide to Red Wine Temperatures

If you store your red wines next to the dog’s bed, and your white wines between the butter and OJ, you’re not alone. Most people abide by the general premise of serving reds at room temperature and whites fresh out of the fridge. But, as your high school guidance counselor told you, just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean it’s right.

Should red wine be chilled? The short answer: often, yes. The longer answer: it depends on the type of red wine and how it’s being stored. Here are our recommendations of wines to chill and at what temp to chill them.

Top 9 Chillable Reds

País– a grape you’ll never really see but which should always be red.

Catalina Ugarte, País Chile 2019

Catalina Ugarte is a winemaker in Chile, and her old-vine Paí­s is a perfect chilled red. Paí­s is a grape native to Chile. It is a delicate wine that tastes like sage, fruit, leather, and flowers. Ideal serving temp: 55 degrees.

Frappato– a grape from Sicily which is light and tangy. A must serve chilled red.

COS, Frappato Sicily 2020

COS was making natural wine before anyone else, and they continue to do it better than anyone else. They’re on the right side of natural: the wines are wild and bright, but objectively delicious. Like most Sicilians, COS is proud of their heritage—and as such, they only make wine from native grapes. Frappato is one of them. It makes light yet juicy red wine that will please both your parents as well your friend who, mentally, never quite came back from studying abroad. Ideal serving temp: 50-55 degrees.

US natural reds– wines like this from California’s next generation are often made in floral and refreshing style.

Martha Stoumen, 'Patatino Nouveau' Nero d'Avola 2020

Most of us find ourselves after college wondering what to do next: work for the family company, join the Peace Corps, start a food blog… Martha Stoumen moved to Sicily to make wine at COS, Italy’s O.G. natural winery. After a couple of years she moved back to Mendocino, California to make her own wines with the same Sicilian grapes. Martha’s ‘Patatino Noveau’ is a blend with Nero d’Avola, Sicily’s most planted grape. Ideal serving temp: 55 degrees.

Barbera– If barbera is too warm it can taste like Smuckers. Just the right temperature and it’s one of our favorite everyday drinking reds.

Castello di Verduno, Barbera d'Alba 2019

Castello di Verduno is a small family winery that’s been making wine for hundreds of years in northern Italy. Barbera is a grape that should always be medium-bodied, fruity, and a little spicy. This is an organic wine. We recommend serving it slightly chilled and accompanied by a slice of pizza. Ideal serving temp: 55-60 degrees.

Garnacha aka grenache from Spain– it’s low in tannin and needs to be slightly cold for max enjoyment.

4 Monos, Tinto 2019

4 Monos is made by four friends who met while hiking. They make wine from these same mountains, which are around Madrid. It’s medium bodied, and tastes like cherries and actually like the dirt it grows in. While the idea of tasting dirt sounds miserable, in wine, it can be a nice thing. The main grape is garnacha, one of Spain’s most well known. Ideal serving temp: 60 degrees.

It’s illegal in France to drink Beaujolais too warm.

Domaine Chapel, Chiroubles 2019

A bright Beaujolais from the small village of Chiroubles that is wildly refreshing. The wine is made from organic fruit farmed by a husband and wife duo, and tastes like tart cherries and wildflowers. Drink with just about anything, from pizza to Peking duck. Ideal serving temp: 55 degrees.

Not all nebbiolo should be chilled. However, if it says Langhe nebbiolo, it’s a lighter style of Barolo and needs a bit of crisp.

Ferdinando Principiano, Langhe Nebbiolo 2018

Ask any winemaker in Barolo who the most exciting new producer is and you’ll hear Principiano roll off their tongue. This is a small and all organic winery with some of the best vineyards in the region. This wine is a Langhe Nebbiolo. That means it’s lighter and easier to drink than the bigger Barolo. Ideal serving temp: 60-65 degrees.

Cannonau is grenache too. Just like in Spain. Keep the ones from Sardegna kinda cold.

Cardedu Caladu, Cannonau Sardegna 2017

Cannonau is the main red grape on the Italian island of Sardinia; it's the same as grenache, but harder to pronounce. Grenache makes soft and spicy wines, which means they're neither tannic nor acidic—just juicy, fruity, and peppery. Ideal serving temp: 60 degrees.

Rosesse is a wine that should be borderline rosé-like. Warm rosé is terrible as you could guess. This one shouldn’t be warm either.

Tenuta Anfosso, Rosesse di Dolceaqua Superiore Liguria 2016

Rossese is a light and refreshing red wine made in Liguria, a coastal region tucked away in the hills of the Italian Riviera where, among other things, pesto comes from. Enjoy it with a slight chill, alongside salads, fish and grilled foods (or in moments you’d like to imagine your fire-escape overlooks the Riviera). Ideal serving temp: 55-60 degrees.

Most Recent Posts

  • Timorasso: The Best Italian White Wine You’ve Never Heard Of Date 09/01/2023

    Timorasso: The Best Italian White Wine You’ve Never Heard Of

  • The 7 Grand Crus of Chablis Date 07/21/2023

    The 7 Grand Crus of Chablis

  • Why Beaujolais Is The Perfect Chilled Red Date 06/15/2023

    Why Beaujolais Is The Perfect Chilled Red