Chilled reds, rosés and whites for all your summer projects


Those sunny days and warm summer nights are upon us. To finish! Outdoor gatherings at the picnic table under a large shady tree, on a sandy beach, or after a nice, long bike ride are favorite summer pastimes that may call for a glass of something cold.

Anything cold. Like rosé, white wine or chilled red wine. Refrigerable red becomes a thing. I came across the term not too long ago and had to look it up because the only chillable red I know of is Sangria. Or maybe even on a hot summer day. you could put a red in the ice bucket for about five minutes.

So I googled it. Turns out it’s a bit of a new twist on wine to appeal to younger generations. And right on my screen, the label of a large box of “refrigerable red” flashed. Other website readings mentioned that it was made from Chardonnay! And that this American wine came from a region called Burgundy. I’m sure that was a mistake. , but it was good for a laugh.

Chilled reds didn’t sound like my thing. But I remember a while ago there was something called wine coolers, which is a mix of red or white wine, a variety of fruit juices and sparkling water – very popular in 1980s. I didn’t laugh at them, I thought of them as wine with training wheels.

Chilled reds could definitely be another type of wine with training wheels to add to the chilled drink options. The chilled reds would be lighter with hopefully a good amount of acidity and fruit. The red grapes used for chillable reds generally have thinner skins than your typical Cabernet or Syrah.

Think of all the rosés you have tasted. A rosé from Provence? Cinsault with thinned skin. A rosé from Spain? Tempranillo. A Sangiovese rosé? Italy or even better Barnard Griffin Rosé de Sangiovese. A sparkling Brut Rosé? Pinot Noir.

Cinsault’s thin skin has delicate tannins that make it ideal for chilling, Gamay, perhaps best known for its use in Beaujolais Nouveau, would take on the chill in an easy-drinking way. Pinot Noir has thin skin and there are a number of rosés from Oregon to try.

Rosés and whites

Barbecues and summer picnics require chilled beverages. Rosés are a natural for these occasions. Just like Rieslings to accompany summer fruits and cheeses. Chilled Vinho Verde and Sauvignon Blanc are winning choices for light and crisp partners with seafood and salads.

It’s the hottest day of the year that Chateau Ste Michelle and the Washington Wine Commission chose to host a tasting to celebrate Washington wine. It was outside, and did I mention it was very hot? Right. Cold was essential: whites, rosés or even water. But not red.

I tasted whites hiding in the shade of an umbrella with other tasters. Alexandria Nicole had a delicious traditional white Rhone which was a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne and Viognier. I highly recommend this beauty.

Other recommendations for Washington whites include Maryhill’s Viognier, Estate 2021 Wahluke Slope Chenin, Alta Cellars Albariño, Elsom Cellars Dutchman Vineyards Albariño, Ambassador Wines 2019 Boushey Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkman White Bluffs Sauvignon Blanc, Fielding Hills Old Vines Chenin, and Oomrang 2019 Puget Sound Siegerrebe.

There were plenty of fresh rosés made frequently with a predominantly Grenache blend, but there was a delicious and unusual one from Alexandria Nicole: a non-vintage semi-sparkling rosé that was a perfect blend of Cab and Orange Muscat. Try it. You’ll love it.

The rosé from Cairdeas Winery is a blend of Syrah and Grenache aged in stainless steel, while the rosé from Elsom Cellars was a blend of Cinsault and Syrah. The Guardian Cellars rosé was also made from Rhône grape varieties, Grenache Mourvèdre and Syrah. And the rosé from Succession Wines was a blend of Syrah and Grenache. I was amazed tasting the Latta Wine and Lauren Ashton Cellars rosés. Both were Grenache Mourvèdre blends but were so different in color and flavor ⁠— in a good way.

Wahluke Rosebud Tempranillo from Sigillo Cellars was very impressive. They also make a pure Cinsault, but unfortunately they couldn’t taste it because they are sold out.

Towards the end it was still warm but I was drawn to some reds. The first was Beckstone Wine Cabernet. Very well balanced and I highly recommend this newcomer.

Another would be Guardian Cellars Gun Metal Red. A blend of Cab primarily with Merlot Cab Franc and Petite Verdot from the venerable Connor Lee Vineyard. And Cairdeas Winery’s Lawrence Vineyard Royal Slope Syrah was fermented and aged in concrete eggs.

While tasting these delicious reds, I thought of a friend who once asked me if it was okay to put ice cubes in her wine. Wine no? If that’s how you prefer it. Although I haven’t tried it there, I thought about it and maybe I could experiment if this heat wave continues.

A friend once asked if it was okay to put ice cubes in wine.  Wine no?  If that's how you prefer it.

How to chill wine:

  • Chill the bottle until it is as cold as the other bottles in the fridge. Take it out and warm it up a little about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Put the bottle in a bucket of ice and water to chill the wine faster.
  • If you’re on the go, chill a can or two of wine. It’s faster, lighter, and less likely to break when hiking or biking.

Cheers for letting the good times flow.

Mary Earl has been educating Kitsap wine lovers for a few decades, is a longtime member of the West Sound Brew Club, and can pair a beer or dinner with wine in a snap. She volunteers for the Clear Creek Trail and is a longtime supporter of Silverdale.

Mary Count
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