Chilling red wine is silly?—

‘Chilled red wine is sillier than reading through a blindfold.’ That may be true of a fine vintage or chunky vino with tannins more leathery than a cowboy’s saddlebags, but young fruity good value reds? Let’s ride for glory!

Chilling red wine down to, say, 12 degrees enhances fruit and focuses the wine’s flavour into refreshment. Lower and it starts to mute. Chilling also emphasises oak and makes tannin taste bitter, so forget about anything too venerable or heavy. Light young reds from thin-skinned grapes such as Gamay and Pinot Noir are the way to go. Cono Sur is bringing out a new label for its Pinot Noir: the picture of a bicycle turns blue when perfectly cool. For a treat buy elegant English – I’ve just pre-ordered a case of Hoffmann & Rathbone Pinot Noir NV from its online shop. Best English Pinot yet.


CHILL OUT TIME…..: Sabina Tempranillo 2017 (13.5%) £5.75 The Wine Society. Gorgeous red that smash it for the price. Best barbecue buy.

COOL CUSTOMER: Beaujolais Villages 2018 (13%) £5.99 Aldi. Joyfully light and fruity red that’s a steal at the price.

LIGHT FANTASTIC: Interlude Pinot Noir 2017 (13.5%) £7 Co-op. Outstanding elegance. Seek out and buy this Co-op cracker.

FRESH PRINCE: Taste the Difference Marzemino 2018 (12.5%) £8.50 Sainsbury’s. Sheer magic that puts Sainsbury’s back on the wine map. Hunt it. (Available June).


Pinot Noir 2018 (13%) £4.75 Morrisons. Champion Chilean red, easily the best sub-fiver Pinot I’ve ever tasted.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 26th May 2019