Best chilled red wines 2023, taste tested

It’s a hot summer’s day, the sky is blue and even the UK is experiencing the tropical-like weather you’d expect from somewhere closer to the Mediterranean. You reach for a glass of something, but what? White, rosé, certainly, but how about a glass of slightly chilled red?

Just think for a minute of those hot countries that produce the red wines we love so much during the winter months. They’re often stored deep in cellars where, on the warmest days, there’s a chill in the air.

We’re not talking about ice-cold wines here, but about wines that have been slightly chilled for, say, 30 minutes in the fridge, so they’re about 10C to 15C.

Cool but not too cold – chilled enough to bring out the flavours, the freshness and the vitality of not just light- and medium-bodied reds but also fuller-bodied wines with a higher alcohol rating.

Here, we present a selection of red wines that you can pop in the fridge and enjoy while the sun shines and the clouds are absent. À votre santé!

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How we tested

All the wines were chilled for at least 30 minutes, to a temperature of 10C to 15C, and, in the majority of cases, taste tested with food.

The best chilled red wines for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – À butiner vin sans soufre Beaujolais-Villages 2021: £15.50, Etonvintners.com
  • Best for a very special occasion – Château Quintus Saint-Emilion grand cru 2016: £140, Millesima.co.uk
  • Best with charcuterie – Beaujolais Villages 2022: £11.99, Majestic.co.uk
  • Best for value – Journey’s End the bluegum merlot 2021: £10, Sainsburys.co.uk
  • Best low-alcohol choice – Fresco di Masi rosso organic: £13.99, Goldenacrewines.co.uk