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17, January 2024

Chillable Reds…the perfect Summer wine!

The McLaren Vale Wine Region has long been renowned for making exceptional red wines. The region’s Mediterranean-style climate, with cooling sea breezes and warm sunny days, creates the perfect conditions for producing flavourful reds. While red wines have traditionally been served at room temperature, McLaren Vale's winemakers are challenging this notion with lighter style reds that are perfect to enjoy slightly chilled on a Summer's day.

Chilled red wines from the McLaren Vale Wine Region offer a unique and refreshing twist on the traditional red wine experience. By serving these wines slightly chilled, their vibrant flavours are accentuated, and a whole new dimension is added to the tasting adventure. McLaren Vale's winemakers have expertly crafted these wines to maintain their structure and complexity even when served at a cooler temperature. This cooler temperature enhances the wine's fruitiness and adds a layer of crispness, making them perfect for the Summer months.

In recent years, the trend of chilled red wines from the McLaren Vale Wine Region has gained momentum, capturing the attention of wine enthusiasts worldwide. This exciting new approach challenges traditional conventions and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for red wine lovers, but which wines should you chill and to what temperature?

We've answered all your chilled red wine questions below.

Which red wines can be chilled?

Let's be clear, when looking for a red wine to enjoy slightly chilled don't reach for that full-bodied McLaren Vale Cabernet Sauvignon that you've had tucked away in your cellar!

The most important factor when selecting a red wine to enjoy chilled, is to choose the right style of wine. Look for younger, lighter styles of red wine made from varieties that showcase primary fruit flavours and have a lower tannin profile. These wines are made to be enjoyed early so their bright fruit flavours shine.

One of the standout varieties that winemakers choose when making chillable reds is Grenache. McLaren Vale's Grenache grapes produce wines with intense aromas of juicy red fruits, subtle spice notes, and a smooth, silky texture. When served chilled, these fruit flavours become more pronounced, and the wine becomes incredibly refreshing, making it a perfect choice for Summer gatherings or picnics.

Equally, Mediterranean varieties grown in the McLaren Vale Wine Region such as Nero d'Avola can make for a fantastic chilled varietal wine. Chilled, Nero d'Avola displays vibrant red fruit flavours, including juicy red cherries, ripe strawberries, and succulent raspberries, complemented with a lively acidity that brings a refreshing zing to the palate.

What temperature should I chill red wine to?

Chilled reds should be enjoyed as the term suggests, chilled not cold. A slight chill on the wine can accentuate vibrant flavours. Serving the wines too cold would have the adverse effect, causing the wine to close up and the bright fruit flavours to diminish.

The best temperature to enjoy your Summer red wines at is between 8-12°C on a hot day and between 10-13° C on a warm day. Domestic fridges are set at around 4°C so you could put the bottle of wine in the fridge for 60-90 minutes before serving for a light chill.

What’s the fastest way to chill my wine?

Sommeliers agree that the fastest way to chill a bottle of wine is in ice water, as water is about 25 times more efficient as a thermal conductor than air. The trick is to ensure the entire bottle is covered, to avoid the first glass being poured warm.

Using a large container such as a stock pot, fill it with two-thirds ice and then add water, leaving some room at the top. You can wrap the bottle in plastic wrap to protect the label—another sommelier trick – and then submerge the bottle in the ice.

Using this method your wine should take 10-15 minutes to reach the ideal temperature.

Are chillable red wines lighter in alcohol?

Generally, yes, owing to the lighter style of wine that is most suited to chilling. These red wines are generally 12-13.5% alcohol, which is lower than the average 14.5% alcohol typically of medium to full-bodied red wines.

So, now you're armed with the knowledge, here's some


Berg Herring Dragon Mumma

Berg Herring Dragon Mumma 2022

Grenache 44%, Touriga 20%, Barbera 14%, Gewurztraminer 10%, Sangiovese 8%, Fiano 2%, Muscat 2%

Chill to: 8-12°C on a hot day.

Bright red fruits, floral & toffee apple


Heavens House Party McLaren Vale Syrah Chilled Red Wine

Heavens House Party Syrah 2022

100% Syrah | 12.5% alc/vol.

Chill to: 8-12°C on a hot day.

This party animal is made by 100% whole bunch carbonnique maceration which creates lifted fruity aromatics – fruits of the forest, balsamic strawberries and purple jubes. Bright, dark and red fruit coats the mouth amidst hints of mezcal. The fruit is bright, sweet and crunchy with tinges of tannin from ripe stalks. This light pinot’esqe Syrah is a perfect for the spring and summer months…great chilled!


Lino Ramble Pee Wee Nero dAvola

Lino Ramble Pee Wee Novello Nero d'Avola 2023

100% Nero d'Avola | 12.6% alc/vol

Chill to: 10-12°C on a hot day.

Novello is an Italian style of wine between a Rosato and a dry-red (Rosso). Ours spends just enough time on skins to give it some personality and varietal characters.

Bone dry, and made in a novello style we like to drink this wine chilled while wearing a beret as it’s raspberries for days.

Try with: Margarita Pizza and a nudie swim


Lloyd Brothers McLaren Vale Nouveau

Lloyd Brothers Noveau 2023

Grenache 82%, Shiraz 18% | 13.5% alc/vol

Chill to: Between 10-13°C on a warm day and between 8-12°C on a hot day.

Crimson red in colour with lifted aromas of rose petals, sour cherry, red berries and herbs. The palate has layers of blueberry, cherry and fresh raspberries with some dried herbs and ginger spice on the finish. A delicious medium bodied wine that can be lightly chilled and enjoyed throughout the warmer months.

Lloyd Brothers Winemaker, Gonzalo Sanchéz says:

"In summer, I also suggest that people try putting ice cubes in their glass with the nouveau and even ice cubes and soda water if they want a cold, refreshing spritz."

Try with: Antipasto, cured meats, gourmet pizzas, chops and sausages on the bbq.


Maxwell Wines McLaren Vale Fresca

Maxwell Wines Fresca Grenache 2022

100% Grenache | 12.5% alc/vol

Chill to: 8-10°C on a warm or a hot day.

Fruit forward, luscious red fruits, palate full but light.
Fresh, bright, red Grenache fruits, with some subtle spices and some savoury overtones.

Having seen no oak, the generosity of fruit and freshness of the style is best appreciated in its youth.


Orbis Light Red

Orbis Light Red 2023

Shiraz, Nero D’avola, Merlot and Grenache | 13% alc/vol

Chill to: Orbis Wines' winemaker Lauren says "chuck it in the fridge and drink up! It’s a great wine to serve with ice as well."

The Orbis 2023 Light Red is a bright and expressive wine brimming with strawberries, cherries and crunchy young tannin. Made for the Australian lifestyle – serve this wine chilled or at ambient temperature, with good friends and good food.

Handpicked fruit from across multiple blocks on the estate, this wine is made using 4 varieties- A unique blend which is fresh, spiced and a little savoury on the palate.


Wirra Wirra Amator Nouveau

Wirra Wirra Amator Nouveau

Grenache 55%, Touriga 35%, Shiraz 10% | 13.5% alc/vol

Chill to: just “slightly chilled”, otherwise known as “put it on top of the ice, not in it”

Parcels of grenache, shiraz and touriga were harvested, crushed and destemmed separately to stainless steel open fermenters. The crushed fruit spent relatively short periods fermenting on skins, ranging from only a few hours to several days. Each ferment was tasted daily by the winemakers to monitor extraction. Once the desired levels of colour, flavour and texture were achieved, ferments were basket pressed separately to complete fermentation in tank. Finally, the young wine parcels were blended early in August to achieve a bright, aromatic and juicy wine, showcasing these three star varieties of McLaren Vale in a truly vibrant and unadorned form, ready for release in spring 2022.

Flavoursome and vibrant with the flavours of summer pudding, fresh cherries and red currants complimenting the appetising tannins. Succulent acidity forms a clean line and fresh finish.


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