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Vol. 24 "Chillable Red"

draft horse
Click here for the full experience: the original pdf-formatted version of this article.
Book of Bertil 24.01
Believe me, there are days when the world spins way too fast for me, too. So, I have to feel sorry and scared for all of you, simple and happy consumers of wine, who do not know what bottle to buy in order to stay on trend. But don't think you're alone, because unfortunately the reality is that the vinous trends change faster than your monthly consumption of fermented grape juice anyway. So, I, who is still disturbed by the different definitions and the real understanding of the term "Natural wine" (see: Vol. 2), wondered who I could talk to in order to reach a better understanding, and a precise definition, of the new trend of "Chillable Red Wine".


After some hard research, I concluded that the only possible reliable and neutral person would be ChatGPT.

a robot
Click here for the full experience: the original pdf-formatted version of this article
Hey ChatGPT, why question ChatGPT?

Questioning ChatGPT or any AI model is a natural and important part of the interaction process.

Here are a few reasons why people might question or want to understand more about ChatGPT:

  1. Users may seek clarification or further information on a topic they are discussing with ChatGPT.
  2. Asking questions can help ensure that the AI's responses are accurate and relevant.
Hey ChatGPT, why answer questions from a sommelier?

Answering questions from a sommelier is beneficial because it allows AI models to engage with experts, learn from their expertise, receive feedback, and continually refine their knowledge in the domain of wine. It also ensures that AI responses are accurate and informative for a wide range of users, from beginners to wine connoisseurs.


First, it is understood that a very large part of white, rosé, orange, or red wines can be more or less chilled. This practice is not new, but rather thousands of years old. So, we agree that this is nothing new to the lexicon of possible wine styles, but instead merely once again "Making New with Old".

The new fashion of autumn 2023 is the "Chillable Red Wine". So then, ChatGPT, what is chillable red wine exactly?


Chillable red wine, sometimes referred to as "chilled red wine," is a type of red wine that is intended to be served at a slightly cooler temperature than traditional room temperature. While most red wines are typically served at around 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit (15-20 degrees Celsius), chillable red wines are best enjoyed at a cooler temperature, usually between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit (12-15 degrees Celsius). Keep in mind that while chilling red wine can be enjoyable, it's essential not to over-chill it, as extremely low temperatures can mute the wine's flavors and aromas. You can achieve the right temperature by placing the bottle in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes before serving, or by using a wine cooler or ice bucket. Additionally, personal preferences for wine temperature can vary, so it's a good idea to experiment and find the temperature that suits your taste.


Although I agree with your answer, I must object to the methods you describe for cooling a chillable red wine. The refrigerator or ice bucket will inevitably cause a thermal shock between the liquid close to the glass of the bottle and that that is in the center. This process will result in a permanent organoleptic fracture of the wine. For my part I know only two ethically possible methods: either leave the wine for 24 hours in an unfinished basement or in a wine cellar cabinet (both at 55 degrees Fahrenheit constant). Or for a faster method: Fill a container or sink 15" long and 16" minimum with cold tap water to 4" high. Add 2 to 3 ice cubes and place the bottle of wine horizontally in the water for 15 to 20 minutes. In this way the wine cools without thermal shock.

a closeup of an ice cube

But then, ChatGPT, if cooling some red wines is an ancient and classic practice, why and when did the trend of chillable red wine start?


The chillable red wine trend is part of a broader movement toward more accessible and versatile wine consumption. It allows wine enthusiasts to enjoy red wine in a wider range of settings and temperatures, making it a more versatile beverage choice. Keep in mind that wine trends may evolve, so it's a good idea to check with experts or your local wine shop for the latest recommendations and trends in the wine industry. The trend of chillable red wine has been growing in popularity in recent years, but it's difficult to pinpoint an exact start date as wine trends can evolve gradually over time. However, I can provide some context on when this trend gained more attention and why it became popular.

Its rise in popularity has been notable in the wine industry over the past decade or so. Keep in mind that wine trends can vary by region and personal taste, so what's considered "chillable" may differ from one person to another. Ultimately, the most important factor is whether you enjoy the wine and the experience it offers when served at a cooler temperature.


But why?


Wine culture has evolved over the years, with a greater emphasis on experimentation and exploration. Many wine enthusiasts are open to trying new styles and are less bound by traditional rules. Chillable reds fit into this evolving wine culture by offering something different and exciting.


With all due respect for your great ChatGPT knowledge, you will unfortunately find me extremely disappointed with your lack of rigor. Therefore I would like, in turn, to expose my understanding of the subject to give a version probably more at the level of our readers.

The origin of light red "chillable" wines produced at less than 11.5% alcohol by volume (often between 7.5% and 9.5%) with a low density of tannins saw their popularity increase at the end of the XVIIII century following the social and economic consequences of the industrial revolution. The vast majority of wines produced in the old world at that time were peasant wines, what were called vin de soif (or “thirst wines”) because these refreshing wines replaced water in the daily consumption of workers, so they were wines of necessity. These vin de soif wines (or vins de soif?) were simple and consumed quickly after the end of their vinification, and therefore did not require rest or maturation in the cellar before their consumption. They were therefore inexpensive, easily stored, and stable. Unfortunately, their decline occurred in the middle of the XX century with the trend of Fine Wines.

But today, if they are back in style, it is not for their simplicity, or their prices, or even for their culinary diversity. Instead, it’s due to the simple continuation of the movement of "Natural" wines, Pèt Nat and "Orange" wines. The "Chillable Red" wines express aromas of English candy fruits such as "Gummies" (with synthetic flavors, such as Gummy Bears etc.), often originating from partial or complete carbonic macerations. With this process, they develop aromas of banana and sweet fruit, and sometimes light aromas of vinegary acids. It is therefore easy to understand that the "millennial" generation that grew up with kombucha, Gatorade, and bitter craft beers developed an organoleptic appreciation quite different from the generations that preceded them. What delights me most about the trend of this "Chillable Red" movement is that for me their simplicity is as refreshing as a Narragansett Lager is in the troubled (?) world of Craft Beer (a ChatGPT discussion for another day).

a bottle of red wine with two

But then GPT Chat, which red wines can be chillable?


While red wine is typically served at a slightly cooler temperature than room temperature, not all red wines are meant to be chilled. Generally, red wines with lighter bodies, higher acidity, and less pronounced tannins are better suited for chilling. Here are some specific red wine types that you can drink chilled: Pinot Noir, Gamay Noir, Grenache, Lambrusco, Frappato, Lighter Red Blends. When serving these red wines chilled, aim for a temperature in the range of 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit (12-15 degrees Celsius). This temperature range enhances their refreshing qualities without overly muting their flavors. However, personal preferences may vary, so feel free to experiment and adjust the temperature to your liking. 


Your answer seems honest to me but, again, incomplete and ambiguous.

I therefore propose another way to know the ideal temperature for all red wines. If we assume that wines keep at an ideal temperature of 55 degrees Fahrenheit (12C), then this is the natural temperature of an unfinished basement of a house and therefore the ideal temperature of your wine cellar cabinet. Red wine in general should be served at this same temperature. This means the wine in your glass will be 58-60 degrees Fahrenheit (15C).

But there are exceptions, so follow this rule: The lighter the color (tending towards almost a rosé), the more you can serve and drink this wine slightly cooled at 48-50 degrees Fahrenheit (9-10C). This goes for all grape varieties, but do note that this this rule does not apply to old wines that have lost their original colors. The more intense the wine is in color (deep ruby to dark purple), and therefore more tannic, the more you must let the wine take the temperature of the room where it will be drunk. A red wine such as a Barolo, an Australian Shiraz, or a powerful Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is best served around 65 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-19C). Above this temperature the alcohol becomes too volatile and will alter the taste quality of the wine. Another note: this rule does not apply to Lambrusco-style sparkling red wines, which must be served around 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9C).


When do you think, ChatGPT, that the trend of "Chillable Red" will end?


Predicting specific trends, especially in the realm of consumer preferences, is challenging and highly uncertain. The popularity of chillable red wines is influenced by various factors, including changing consumer tastes, marketing strategies, and cultural shifts. However, the longevity of this trend depends on numerous unpredictable factors. For instance, if there's a shift in consumer preferences towards different types of beverages or if there are significant changes in wine production techniques or marketing, the trend might evolve or fade away. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information on this trend, I recommend checking recent market analyses, industry reports, or wine-related publications for the latest insights. These sources can provide real-time data and expert opinions that can offer a more current perspective on the trend of chillable red wines.


So ChatGPT if this is your final answer to my oenophile concerns. I feel compelled to "end" this conversation because it gives me chills and hot flashes.

Mr. B

*Memorandum: My words and opinions in these newsletters are and would always be personal, and I intend to offend. I always accept that others have the full right and duty to challenge me, to argue, and, if it is necessary, excommunicate me from their beliefs (often dull and hollow) because I would act the same way if it were the other way around.