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!

Love wine but don’t know where to start? The Independent Wine Club features curated cases from small growers and expert advice on how to enjoy wine. Sign up now for free.

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,
  • Best for a very special occasion – Château Quintus Saint-Emilion grand cru 2016: £140,
  • Best with charcuterie – Beaujolais Villages 2022: £11.99,
  • Best for value – Journey’s End the bluegum merlot 2021: £10,
  • Best low-alcohol choice – Fresco di Masi rosso organic: £13.99,