In the prickly heat of summer, ask for a chilled glass of white wine, and your server will rattle off a long list of Pinot Grigios, Reislings, and Sauvignon Blancs. But ask for a chilled red, and eyebrows will raise. RosÃ© will be offered. Unless, of course, you happen to be talking to Eric Asimov, the New York Times‘ wine critic, who might suggest Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, or Cab Franc.
In “Reds On Ice? It’s Not Heresy,” Asimov explains that chilling (65 degrees or lower) certain reds, can open up a wine’s flavors. But the danger with chilled reds is excessive cooling or selecting the wrong wine. Big bodied or complex reds are not meant for low temperatures, because they lose their nuances, and over-chilling can leave a wine’s tannins overexposed. So, Asimov suggests a select list of wines. Try Dashe Zinfandel, Chinon Les Granges (a Cabernet Franc from Bernard Baudry), and a 2004 Calera Mount Harlan CuvÃ©e, a Pinot Noir. All are available locally at Argonaut Wine & Liquor and/or Applejack Wine & Spirits.