What’s the Deal with Chilling Red Wine?

Should red wines be chilled? The short answer: yes, but don’t go tossing any red wine in your fridge. Here are the ins and outs of chilling red wine.

Want to discover your wine taste profile?

Take our quick 7-question quiz to find wines that fit your taste profile and get them delivered to your door.

Free Wine Quiz Arrow

At Bright Cellars, we’re committed to debunking wine myths, but oftentimes misconceptions are double pronged. We know that the summertime isn’t simply reserved for whites and rosés. Light-bodied red wines are an exceptional choice even when the weather is hot.

But if you are reaching for a red, should red wine be chilled in the summertime? The short answer: yes, but don’t just go tossing red wines in your wine fridge. There’s more to know! We’re sharing the ins and outs of chilling red wine.

Should red wine be chilled?

When chilling red wine, not all reds should be served at the same temperature. There’s a recommended range of temperatures, based on body. Light red wines are best served around 50-55° while fuller-bodied reds are better served around 65°.

If you’re aiming for that sweet spot of 50°, toss a light-bodied red in the fridge or an ice bucket for about 30-45 minutes.

Which red wines are best chilled?

As a rule of thumb, the best “chillable red wines” are light-bodied wines with high acid and low tannin that are generally fruit-forward. Why do we chill them? It’s not only so you can cool off in the hot sun. The true purpose of chilling these styles of wine is to highlight the more elegant fruit and floral notes. We’ve put together a list of our favorite summer reds that fit these characteristics.

1. Pinot Noir

Perhaps the most refreshing summer red wine is our dear friend Pinot Noir. With medium-high acidity, low tannins, and fruit-forward notes of cherry, raspberry, mushroom, and clove, Pinot Noir has all the makings of a perfectly chillable red wine.

For our Bright Cellars lovers out there, we recommend tasting our Vanishing Act Pinot Noir - a classic Oregon Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. You’ll love the aromas of strawberry, cherry, fresh mushroom, and cedar on the finish. Simply contact your Wine Concierge and request it in your next box!

2. Gamay

Notes of pomegranate and raspberry reign supreme when it comes to Gamay. Best known in Beaujolais (pronounced /bo-shjo-lay/), this prominent region in France thrives on Gamay-based wine.

Gamay itself is a fruity, floral, and slightly earthy red that’s light in body. It has light to medium tannins and the best examples are naturally high in acidity, making it the perfect candidate for a turn in the wine fridge.

3. Frappato

This summer red is just as Italian as it sounds. Produced mainly in Sicily, Frappato’s low tannins, light body, and refreshing red fruit characters make it a great summer wine.

Plus, it pairs well with roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomatoes. Can you picture the summer bruschetta and hummus spread as well as we can?

4. Zweigelt

Imagine a light-bodied red wine with strong Austrian heritage, and you have Zweigelt. The most planted red wine grape in Austria, Zweigelt is a beloved cross between Blaufränkisch (think black fruits like blackberry and black cherry) and St. Laurent (think Pinot Noir).

When it comes to chillable characteristics, Zwiegelt leans towards its parent, Pinot Noir, with medium-light body, medium-high acidity, low tannins and bright fruit notes of red cherry and raspberry.

If you’re a Bright Cellars member, you’re in luck. We currently have a delicious Zweigelt that’s begging to be shown off at your next wine soiree! Contact your Wine Concierge at concierge@brightcellars.com and ask to try our Albtraum Zweigelt - a luscious red with soft tannins and notes of red berries that are rounded out by aromas of anise and bright acidity.

5. Grenache

Grenache (also known as Garnacha in Spain) is known to be a rich, flavorful red wine with notes of stewed strawberry and plum (could you get any more fruit-forward?)

While Grenache has a fuller body than some of the other chillable reds we’ve discussed, it flaunts medium tannins and medium acidity, and it does not fall short on the fruit-heavy notes. Since Grenache is a lower acid and higher potential alcohol grape variety, this red wine is better suited for the 55°- 60° range when chilling.

Get in on the Grenache with Bright Cellars’ Worst Evils. Hailing from Mendocino County, this classic Grenache flaunts flavors of candied strawberry and raspberry with warm brown baking spices like cinnamon and star anise.

Other ways to chill red wine fast


If your dinner guests are en route and you’ve forgotten to toss your favorite Bright Cellars Pinot Noir in the fridge, there’s no need to worry. We’re pros at combating those wine woes! Check out these 5 foolproof ways to chill wine fast.


In Vino Finito

Did we miss one of your favorite chillable reds? Let us know in the comments!

Arrow Previous Article
April 20, 2022
Best Cellars Spotlight: Fol...
Next Article Arrow
May 11, 2022
From the Judge's Corner: Wi...
Featured Articles
Follow Bright Cellars

Articles you might like...

Ready to learn more about wine? Dive right in.

This is a carousel. You can use the slide dots to navigate to a specific slide.

Tips + Tricks
December 01, 2023

7 Wine Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List

When in doubt, gift wine. Here are some helpful ideas for gifting to the wine lovers on your list this...

Pairing Tips
October 08, 2022

Wine and Pierogi Pairings For National Pierogi Day!

Happy National Pierogi Day! This Polish dumplings can be savory or sweet. Here are 7 wine and pierogi pairings to...

Tips + Tricks
July 12, 2022

10 Ways to Get Out of a Wine Rut

Looking to rediscover your love for wine? Here are 10 fun, foolproof ways to get out of that wine rut...

Wine Spotlights
July 07, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Paper Tiger Wines

We're introducing our new wine brand, Paper Tiger wines. These varieties are rare, enticing, and, above all, worth trying.

Tips + How To
June 12, 2022

Wine Wisdom: How to Learn About Wine

Introducing Wine Wisdom — a series of bite-size, sommelier-approved lessons that allow you to learn about wine on your own...

June 01, 2022

All for Wine & Wine for All: Raising a Glass to our Differences

Happy June, fellow wine drinkers! This month, we’re celebrating with a reminder: There’s enough room at the table for all...

May 26, 2022

Wine Spotlight: Dreamlet Wines

These California wines are exploding with flavor, but we’ve also added a new bottling technique with a little bit of...

May 13, 2022

New Wine Alert: Unsinkable Wines

Bright Cellars is excited to announce the launch of a captivating new brand ready to hit boxes – Unsinkable wines.

Wine 101
May 11, 2022

From the Judge's Corner: Wine Competitions Explained

Our own Julie Albin recently judged two wine competitions in London – the International Wine Challenge and Decanter World Wine...

April 20, 2022

Best Cellars Spotlight: Folk & Fable Wines

Of all our Bright Cellars wines, there’s one that never fails to impress, time and time again. From its bold,...

Wine 101
April 14, 2022

7 Things to Know About Malbec Wine

You know about the ever-popular Cabernet Sauvignon, and you probably know a thing or two about Merlot. It’s time we...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
April 07, 2022

What Is a Red Blend Wine?

What is a red blend wine and why do winemakers blend wines? We're explaining the magical process that is blending...

Tips + Tricks
March 29, 2022

Spring Cleaning: Wine Bar Cart Essentials

As the weather warms, use this handy checklist of wine bar cart essentials to prepare yourself for spring sipping.

March 25, 2022

NEW! Colorfast Wine Label Spring Cleaning

In the true spirit of spring cleaning, we’re excited to unveil something we’ve been working on behind the scenes. Introducing...

Wine Inspiration
March 22, 2022

Sipping Through Spring: Wine Playlist

Imagine: You're sitting on a blanket at the park with sunshine on your face, a good read in one hand,...

Wine 101
March 16, 2022

A Beginner’s Guide to Different Types of White Wine

Not sure where to start with white wine? Here are the most common types of white wines you'll see at...

February 28, 2022

How to Be the Main Character of Your Wine Experience

Some call it main character energy. We call it good wine vibes. Everyone’s story is different – whether you’re just...

Wine 101
Wine Facts
February 09, 2022

How to Talk About Wine: Wine Terms to Know

From tannin to terroir, here's how to talk about wine and the top wine terms to know for your next...

Wine 101
January 27, 2022

What Are Wine Sulfites & Which Wines Are Low Sulfite Wines?

Sulfites get a bad rap in the wine world, but the truth is, they’re essential to the winemaking process. So,...

Wine Inspiration
January 21, 2022

37 Wine Quotes to Keep You Inspired

Wine quotes are like a good glass of wine - they can truly take your day from good to great....

Wine 101
January 21, 2022

What is Wine Sediment and How Does It Get In My Glass?

In your wine lifetime, you may have experienced wine sediment - traces of the winemaking process left in wine that...

Wine 101
January 14, 2022

Can Wine Freeze? 3 Hacks for Frozen Wine

We know hard alcohol can’t freeze, but can wine freeze? Here's the explanation you've been waiting for and a few...

Wine 101
January 12, 2022

Red Wine vs White Wine: What’s The Difference?

We're sharing the fundamental differences of red wine vs. white wine, plus how you should serve both types of wine.

Tips + How To
January 07, 2022

7 Ways to Embrace Try January, Instead of a Dry January

New Year’s resolutions don’t always have to involve giving something up. Here are 7 ways to make this month a...

Wine 101
December 31, 2021

Sparkling Wine VS Champagne: What’s the Difference?

As we ring in the New Year, it’s important to address this surprisingly common question - what is the difference...

Tips + How To
December 16, 2021

7 Wine Holiday Traditions to Start this Year

Some holiday traditions are just better with wine. Here are 7 creative ways to celebrate the season with vino, year...

Wine Inspiration
December 10, 2021

Last Minute Gifts That Will Arrive In Time

These last minute gifts are great for wine lovers and are guaranteed to arrive before the holidays. Check out these...

Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

25 Best Christmas Songs and Wine Pairings

From classic carols to modern hits, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up the best Christmas songs and pairing them...

Tips + Tricks
Wine Inspiration
December 03, 2021

Holiday Hacks: How to Reuse Your Bright Cellars Box

Instead of tossing your box on the curb, here are a few holiday hacks and DIY wine bottle crafts to...

Pairing Tips
December 02, 2021

Top Wine Pairings for Your Holiday Dinner – No Matter What You Cele...

The holidays are all about enjoying good food! Here are the perfect holiday dinner and wine pairings – no matter...

Wine 101
November 29, 2021

Winter Wine: The Best Winter Reds

There’s nothing like cozying up next to a fire with a glass of winter wine in hand. Here are the...

Wine Inspiration
November 26, 2021

Gift Guide: Gifts for Wine Lovers

Wondering what to get someone who loves wine? From the Wine Newbie to the Cocktail Connoisseur, here are the perfect...

Wine Inspiration
November 24, 2021

7 Reasons to be Thankful for Wine

When you go around the table this Thanksgiving and share what you're thankful for, don't forget to be thankful for...

By The Numbers
November 23, 2021

Your Favorite Wine Cocktails, Ranked

There’s something special about the seasons changing. It’s the perfect time to try a new wine or get out of...

Pairing Tips
November 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Leftover Recipes & Wine Pairings

You can only eat turkey so many days in a row. Here are the best Thanksgiving leftover recipes and the...

Wine Inspiration
November 19, 2021

2021 Black Friday Wine Deals

Whether you're a wine beginner or seasoned sipper, here are the best Black Friday wine deals for wine lovers alike.

Wine Inspiration
November 12, 2021

The Best Holiday Wine Gift Subscription On The Internet

We found the perfect holiday wine gift to give your loved one all the warm and fuzzies this holiday season.

Wine 101
November 12, 2021

How to Open a Bottle of Wine

Grab your corkscrew and your favorite Bright Cellars wine - we're teaching you how to open a bottle of wine...

Wine 101
November 04, 2021

How to Read a Wine Label

Deciphering wine labels can be downright confusing. Today we're teaching you how to read a wine label in four easy...

Wine Inspiration
October 29, 2021

Have You Ever Visited a Vineyard?

There are some experiences that are simply irreplaceable when it comes to wine. We asked our Bright Cellars’ community, “Have...

Tips + Tricks
Wine 101
October 29, 2021

How to Taste Wine

How to Taste Wine in 3 Easy Steps https://youtu.be/yZiVhcLNCto Anyone can drink wine, but tastin’ wine ain’t easy. In order...

Hosting Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 28, 2021

Don’t Forget the Wine: A Holiday Hosting Checklist

Are you hosting for the holidays? Check out our holiday hosting checklist focused on, you guessed it, wine!

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 21, 2021

How to Pair Wine With Your Fall Charcuterie Board

Get creative for your next fall get together! Here are our recommendations for pairing wine with your next fall charcuterie...

Pairing Tips
October 19, 2021

Thanksgiving Wines Based on Your Favorite Side Dish

In some situations, it’s okay to play favorites! Here’s which wine you should drink based on your favorite Thanksgiving side...

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 19, 2021

5 Apple Dessert and Wine Pairings Perfect for Fall

Move over pumpkin, it's apple's time to shine! These 5 fall apple desserts and wine pairings are perfect for celebrating...

Hosting Tips
Tips + How To
October 15, 2021

How to Throw a Hallowine Party

If you think Halloween is just for kids, think again. Here are 5 foolproof ways to take your celebration from...

Wine Cocktails
Wine Inspiration
October 15, 2021

How to Make Mulled Wine (And Other Fall Cocktails)

There’s just something special about a homemade fall wine cocktail. Here's how to make mulled wine (and other fall cocktails!)

Pairing Tips
Wine Inspiration
October 14, 2021

Pairing Wine With Halloween Candy: The Ultimate Guide

Sometimes you have to treat yourself! These 12 Halloween candy and wine pairings are perfect for ending spooky season and...

Pairing Tips
October 11, 2021

9 Wines for Pumpkin Spice Lovers

Some call it fall, others call is pumpkin spice season! Here are 9 wines perfect for pumpkin spice lovers for...