Chillable Red Wines: How New Winemakers are Pushing the Boundaries

by Rhonda Turner

While white and rosé wines are often considered social wines, there are times when a glass of red is a better fit. Yet to the vast majority, red wines are bold and heavy to be served at room temperature. 

There is, however, a compromise where certain red wines take center stage. 

What Makes a Red Wine Chillable? 

Chillable reds are lighter, brighter, and more refreshing than a full-bodied, oaked red wine. They are typically best served slightly chilled, 55℉ to 60℉. These wines have little to no oak treatment, and most have lower alcohol by volume.

Chillable reds are versatile – pairing perfectly with charcuterie. But they can also be complex wines with nuanced profiles and a bit more tannin to complement grilled meats. In France, there are referred to as glou-glou or chuggable wines.

A Desire to Be Different

One of the forces driving chillable red’s popularity is the vin vivant or Natural Wine movement. Natural Wines are organically farmed without cellar tampering. These methods produce bright and fruity wine, such as the Pėt Nat or Orange Wine, with qualities that align with chillable reds.

Chillable Red Characteristics

Related: Food and Wine 101: Red Wines

New Winemakers are Pushing the Boundaries

By recognizing consumer-driven trends such as natural, organic, and low alcohol wines, a new generation of winemakers are creating singular drinkable vintages and allowing boutique and urban wineries to flourish.

These small craft vineyards rely less on the identity of the growing region and more on the ingredients and barrel-aging techniques to make wine. As a result, creative oenologists are crafting highly competitive wines. 

And by bending the boundaries of wine and rewriting the often stringent rules of food and wine pairings, this new winemaking generation supports the new narrative – drink whatever you want to drink!

Consumers, in a noticeable divergence from the full-bodied reds, seek out new styles and lesser-known grapes such as Beaujolais, which offers crisp acidity and a crunchy fruity flavor. These upbeat reds use grapes like Cabernet Franc and Côtes du Rhone-style in their blends. 

Doing Their Own Thing

Following the path of the old world garagistes — boutique Franch Bordeaux winemakers challenged traditional approaches — these innovative winemakers are forging a new direction in American winemaking. 

One new wine product, Bourbon barrel-aged wines, has recently hit the market. The wine is aged in the Bourbon barrels, then infused with different ingredients such as berries, vanilla, or herbs just before bottling.

Another trend is the use of grapes and grape blends, rarely seen in the United States, such as the Piedmontese-inspired wines. These blends use Northern Italian Grignolino and Freisa grapes to produce translucent red wines. These tend to have intense acidity, tannins, and aromas, including hibiscus, potpourri, and raspberry.

New York’s Trailblazers

The New Your Finger Lakes Region is home to family wineries and many of the country’s winemaking trailblazers. Young and vibrant, these innovators are ready to challenge conventional techniques, embracing the sheer joy of winemaking.

One, Top 40 under 40 Winemaker Nathan Kendall, has created an Old World style wine named Nathan K without filtering or fining. His second wine, The Chëpìka Project, uses hybrid Delaware and Catawba grapes, with a regional lineage back to the 1800s.

Another independent Finger Lake vineyard, Trestle Thirty-One, is the hard-won endeavor of the wife and husband team, Nova and Brian Cadamatre. Nova carries the title of Master of Wine — the first female winemaker in the United States to be awarded this prestigious certification. Trestle Thirty-One is credited with numerous 90+ rated wines.

Times are definitely changing. Gone are the required temperature charts or stringent wine paring rules of “red for meat and white for fish.” It might be the intentional rebellion of a generation to cast aside their parent’s wine choices or a genuine interest in new and unfamiliar flavors. Either way, chillable red wines are appreciated because they are affordable, drinkable, and immensely different.



FEATURED EVENTS

Crush Wine Experiences

October 23, 2021

A once-in-a-lifetime experience

Piedmont Italy: Barolo and Barbaresco tour

Oct 23 – 30, 2021
6 nights, 7 days
Milan, Barolo, Alba, and Turin

RESERVE NOW
Crush Wine Experiences

September 23, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kotti Berliner – Food & Wine Pairing

Join us for a Virtual Food & Wine Pairing with Brooklyn’s Kotti Berliner. Explore delicious döner kebabs paired with wine. Meet Kotti founder, Erkan Emre.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

September 16, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Broadbent Selections – Portugal

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with one of America’s leading importers of high-quality Portuguese wines.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

September 2, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Cusumano Winery – Sicily, Italy

Join us for a Virtual Tasting with the maker of the #1 selling Sicilian wine in the U.S.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

August 26, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Kunde Family Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. The Kunde family has farmed an 1,850-acre estate in Sonoma Valley for 100 years.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

August 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Great wine starts in the vineyard.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

August 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Dutcher Crossing Winery

Join us for a Virtual Tasting. Distinctive and hand-crafted wines produced from award-winning vineyards.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

June 12, 2020

At Your Home

RGNY At-Home Blending Session

Be your own winemaker for a day — guided by a professional on Zoom video!

PURCHASE KIT & ZOOM TICKET
Crush Wine Experiences

May 29, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Virtual Wine & Pizza Tasting with Jamesport Vineyards

What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 28, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Foxen Winery & Vineyard Virtual Tasting

Experience the magic of Santa Barbara wine.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 21, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Chateau Montelena Winery Virtual Tasting

This tasting will be epic.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 19, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Monte Bello winery

The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 18, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Tenuta di Lilliano Virtual Tasting

Very special tasting. Don’t miss it!

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 15, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Pedroncelli Winery Virtual Tasting

Four Generations of Family Pride at Pedroncelli Winery, since 1927

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 14, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Provence Rosé Group Virtual Tasting

The best rosé in the world comes from Provence.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 13, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

St. Francis Winery Virtual Tasting

Voted “#1 in America” in 2013 and 2015 by Open Table customers.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 12, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Ridge Vineyards Virtual Tasting – Lytton Springs

The New York Times described Ridge’s Cabernet Sauvignon as America’s greatest.

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 11, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Oak Farm Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit the famous wine-growing region of Lodi County, California – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

May 8, 2020

Live Online Zoom Broadcast

Goldschmidt Vineyards Virtual Tasting

Visit Sonoma County – virtually!

RSVP FOR FREE
Crush Wine Experiences

April 18, 2020

Marlboro, NY

Wines & Bites!

Hudson Valley’s yummiest wine and food tasting event

GET TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

March 7, 2020

New York’s Premier Winter Wine Event

NYC Winter Wine and Food Festival

Enjoy a winter getaway without even leaving the city.

GET TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

January 19, 2020

Riverhead, NY

RG|NY Blending Session

Join RG|NY winemaker Lilia Perez, for a unique tasting and blending session.

PURCHASE TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

December 14, 2019

Ulster & Orange Counties, NY

Wreath Fineries at the Wineries

Don’t miss the ultimate holiday wine tasting event in the Hudson Valley. Sales end Thursday, Dec 12 at 11:59pm!

PURCHASE TICKETS
Crush Wine Experiences

November 14, 2019

New York, NY

Around The World In 10 Wines

Experience a global tasting in 2 hours with award-winning artisan cheese and charcuterie

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

Sunday, January 29th, 2023

Sulfites: Controversy or Chemistry?
Tannins and Histamines are more likely causes of headaches Sauvignon Blanc is a great light-bodied wine for sensitivity drinkers “Sulfite” includes a range of materials commonly used as preservatives in the production of foods and beverages So Sulfuric Dioxide is used by most wineries to prevent spoilage and arrest fermentation Having the opportunity to work - Read More
Read more...

Thursday, January 26th, 2023

Move Over, Cab: California Zinfandel is In It To Win It
It may come as a surprise, but Cabernet Sauvignon is not the original California grape. That distinction belongs to Zinfandel, which reigned supreme through the Golden State until Cab surpassed it in 1998. Grown in most of California’s 58 counties, Zinfandel isn’t content playing second fiddle to Cabernet any longer. With protected pockets of old - Read More
Read more...

Sunday, January 8th, 2023

Decanters as Art: Combining form and function
Unsurprisingly, the word decant is thought to have originated around the 17th century as an alchemist term meaning – to pour off the clear liquid by tipping the vessel. However, some still argue that it derives from the French – décanter – to pour from the edge of a vessel. Either definition seems appropriate, as - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE