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Just chill! Cool reds for warmer days

by Marion Topitschnig
Verena Langmann
Verena Langmann turns Blauer Wildbacher into a red wine that is simply enjoyable when slightly chilled!

Sunny days call for chilled wine. Here are our recommendations.

When the mercury rises, it might seem counter-intuitive to open a bottle of red wine. Surely sunny days call for wines of a paler hue? Not necessarily, warmer climes can be just as suited to a glass of red – one must just chill it down a notch or two.

In any case, it is strange that we tend to put white wines on ice and red wines hardly at all. "The flavour develops better at the right temperature", according to the specialist literature. But isn't the mouthfeel more important than the flavour? A little coolness can be an advantage, after all.

Fruity, light and versatile

So welcome in the warmer weather by playing it cool, with red wines that look to the future with confidence. Reds that have a fruity directness, a lightness of being and harmony of togetherness.

These reds are the best friends of all fish dishes, they are the favourite life partners of white cheese, they inspire and refresh when the sun is shining and skilfully combine spring afternoons with the balmy evenings of summertime.

These reds can be chilled like white wines, and you can enjoy them unabashedly at any time of day or night. Their season starts on 1 May. And never ends. Here they are, our new cool reds:

2022 Avanti Popolo, Les Temps des Cerises, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
© Weinskandal

2022 Avanti Popolo

Les Temps des Cerises, Languedoc-Roussillon, France

"AVANTI POPOLO is not only the title of one of the best-known international labour songs, but also Axel Prüfer's creed," says Austrian natural wine expert Moritz Herzog (Weinskandal / R&Bar). The native "Ossi" is regarded in France as a visionary in vineyard work. A vine whisperer, they say. His winery Les Temps De Cerises is cult, because Prüfer lives what is called Vini democratici in Italy – "the obligation of farmers to treat their land with care and make valuable food available to everyone," explains Herzog. It's about self-determined work, about autonomy. Vin de soif! Santé!“

What does Avanti Popolo taste like?
"Rustic. Dark berry. Light on its feet. Invigorating. 12.5 vol % and still unmistakably South of France. A colourful mix of Grenache, Alicante and Syrah. Slightly chilled, it shows its wonderful freshness. Bright and playful - without ever making a secret of being a red wine. Vin de soif! Santé!"

Stefan & Verena Langmann
Stefan & his daughter Verena Langmann from Langmann winery in Styria. © Anna Stöcher

2018 Blauer Wildbacher Grand Reserve

Lex Langmann winery, West Styria, Austria

Western Styria is home to the empress of Austria's indigenous grape varieties, Blauer Wildbacher, known as Schilcher, which has been causing a furore for some time now, not least because climate change is playing in the variety's favour. However, the grape variety is able to add an 'aha' experience:

In the best years, the best winegrowers in Western Styria dare to attempt the feat of producing Blauer Wildbacher as a red wine. Naturally, the grapes come from the best vineyards. In 2018, Stefan Langmann and his daughter Verena achieved this with flying colours. Their Blauer Wildbacher, best served at 16 °C in a large Burgundy glass, combines power, finesse and elegance. Aromas of redcurrants, dark cherries, walnuts and Far Eastern spices flow from the glass. Aged for 40 months in small French oak barrels, the tannins become wonderfully round, while the fruit becomes more complex. "A world-class wine," writes Manfred Klimek in Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

Christina Netzl
© Photo provided

2022 Christina Zweigelt unfiltered

Christina Netzl, Carnuntum, Austria

Two hearts beat in Tina Netzl's chest: one beats for the classic wine style of Carnuntum, handed down by her parents Franz and Christine. The second beats for old vinification methods, resulting in the wonderful "Natural" series called 'Christina'. The 'Zweigelt unfiltered' is one of Christina's favourites. The winemaker loves the "underdog" Zweigelt grape variety due to its often under-recognised potential. This one is particularly refreshing – by nature. It shimmers bright red in the glass and exudes juicy cherry flavours. Animated and light on the palate. The tannins in the refreshing finish are silky smooth.

Tina recommends: "It's best to pour at 14 °C and enjoy in the sunshine."

2022 Puszta Libre, Claus Preisinger, Neusiedlersee, Austria
© Weinskandal

2022 Puszta Libre

Claus Preisinger, Neusiedlersee, Austria

When it comes to cool and chilled reds, this wine is a must. Because it stands for revolution – and not just because of its name and associated slogans reminiscent of Cuba and guerrilla icon Che Guevara, such as: Hasta la Puszta! Claus Preisinger is regarded as Austria's natural wine pioneer who heralded a paradigm shift with Puszta Libre long before the natural hype: away from the stiff, cerebral elite image that red wines in particular had (and still have), towards low-threshold, uncomplicated drinking pleasure. With its light, animated perlage, pronounced fruit and fresh structure, it stands for a spirit of optimism. And fortunately, the wind of change is no longer just blowing across the Puszta.

2021 Motz & Marie natural . bio . rot, Robert Payr winery, Carnuntum, Austria
© Fillim&Afloat

2021 Motz & Marie natural . bio . rot

Robert Payr winery, Carnuntum, Austria

The Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt cuvée was foot-pressed by winemaker Robert Payr, left on the skins with berries and stems for seven days and then matured on the lees in steel tanks. Lively fruit, spirited acidity and a surprising hint of fleur de sel make this a special drinking experience. Wonderfully down-to-earth. Served chilled, 'Motz & Marie rot' is a refreshing accompaniment to strong dishes.

This wine is dedicated to their ancestors Matthäus and Maria Payr, who are depicted on the label in 1935, when they were already the second generation running the winery.

Quinta de Soalheiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal
Quinta de Soalheiro vineyards, Vinho Verde, Portugal © Photo provided

2019 Soalheiro Opacco

Quinta de Soalheiro, Vinho Verde, Portugal

Oppaco is the very first red wine from Soalheiro, with which the winery is opening a new chapter in its history. The aim was to find an innovative approach for the region's red wines. While the first vintage in 2013 was a blend of the two regional grape varieties, the red Vinhão (known as Sousão in the Douro region) and the white Alvarinho, the winenow also contains Pinot Noir. The three complement each other perfectly: Alvarinho brings elegance, Pinot Noir its light, fruity profile and Vinhão provides the rustic note – together, each variety plays to its advantages, resulting in a harmonious interplay of tannins, alcohol and acidity. Slightly chilled, it goes perfectly with dishes such as fish that would normally be served with white wines.


Dorli Muhr
© Anna Stöcher

2023 Zweigelt Nouveau

Dorli Muhr winery, Carnuntum, Austria

Refreshing, cool, uncomplicated, invigorating – Zweigelt can be all of these things. With 'Nouveau', Dorli Muhr alludes to the well-known "cousin" from Beaujolais. The grapes from old Zweigelt vines are harvested early (and carefully) by hand and crushed "whole bunch". The wild yeast slowly begins its work and completes it half in stainless steel and half in large old wooden barrels. The carbon dioxide should remain in the wine as much as possible. This is why it was carefully drawn off in January and finally bottled unfiltered in March. Well chilled, the sparkling, fresh Zweigelt Nouveau is pure joie de vivre!

Weingut Wachter-Wiesler
Julia & Christoph Wachter © Photo provided

2021 Béla-Jóska

Weingut Wachter-Wiesler, Eisenberg, Austria

The two grandfathers' first names were the inspiration for this classic wine, which is not only a calling card for the Deutsch-Schützen winery, but also for the entire Eisenberg wine region. With its character characterised by the typical primary rock soils (ferruginous loam and green slate) and its distinctive spiciness, Blaufränkisch is a terroir wine in the best sense of the word. The Wachter-Wieslers themselves describe it as a "bread-and-butter wine"; as an animating table wine – slightly chilled – it is a perfect accompaniment to social gatherings.

Daniel & Dirk Niepoort
Daniel & Dirk Niepoort © Photo provided

2021 Voyeur Vinho Tinto de Anfora DOC Douro

Niepoort, Douro, Portugal

Niepoort's Voyeur is pure drinking pleasure. That's what the 'Nat Cool' series stands for anyway. A witty, indigenous blend of red and white grapes from 40 to 50-year-old vines, matured in 1,000-litre clay amphorae. The result is a very light, almost rosé-coloured red wine with an ingenious juiciness and freshness. Like the colour, the nose is extremely delicate. Red cherry, raspberry, cranberry, light floral accents, also mint and light liquorice underneath. A slight natural touch, but very clear, very floating and subtle. In the mouth, everything is centred on the sweet and sour, red berry fruit. Again cherry, a touch of pomegranate, raspberry, everything glides over the tongue weightlessly and virtually without tannin. Enormous drinking flow with such fine playfulness and refreshing coolness on the finish – all this at only around 11% ABV. is pretty brilliant. Easy-drinking with ambition. Happy to chill!

Pia Strehn with her wine 'That's Amore'
© Photo provided

2021 That’s Amore

Pia Strehn, Mittelburgenland, Austria

Sunday and your favourite TV series. Pizza and wine. Blaufränkisch and Rösler. "That's Amore!" says Pia Strehn. Austria's rosé queen can also do red – and how! "We spent a lot of time researching the perfect pizza wine on wine trips around the world and finally created a central Burgenland version," says the engaging winemaker. The perfect match for pizza is juicy, elegant with velvety tannins, fine dark fruit nuances and a spicy finish. For Pia Strehn, the cuvée epitomises a feeling: "Casual dining, a good atmosphere...and super easy to drink!"

2018 Assmannshäuser Pinot Noir Sekt, VAUX, Rheingau, Germany
© Photo provided

2018 Assmannshäuser Pinot Noir Sekt

VAUX, Rheingau, Germany

Sparkling wine in red? It has a long tradition in the Rheingau and among the sparkling wine specialists at VAUX. The Pinot Noir from the famous steep vineyard in Assmannshausen is bottled as a terroir-typical red sparkling wine in a limited edition and surprises with a balanced interplay of dark fruit flavours, such as sour cherries, and fine acidity. Goes particularly well with grilled and braised meats as well as desserts like warm chocolate cake.

2022 Vernatsch Kalterersee Classico Superiore Südtirol DOC, Kellerei Tramin, Alto Adige, Italy
© Günther Facchinelli

2022 Vernatsch Kalterersee Classico Superiore Südtirol DOC

Kellerei Tramin, Alto Adige, Italy

Mediterranean climate meets cold down draughts from the Mendel massif - the temperature fluctuations between day and night and the calcareous, loamy to gravelly-loamy soils on which the vines of the Tramin winery thrive, is what makes their wines so incredibly fresh. Even the Gewürztraminer. And also the reds, such as this Vernatsch from Lake Kaltern. It comes into the glass light and low in tannins and tastes pleasantly mild and fruity. Uncomplicated, perfect for between meals. It goes wonderfully with a hearty snack, but also with white meat or mild cheese.

Catarina Vieira & Pedro Ribeiro, Rocim
Catarina Vieira & Pedro Ribeiro, Rocim © Photo provided

2023 Herdade do Rocim Amphore Red wine

Rocim, Alentejo, Portugal

Catarina Vieira and Pedro Ribeiro produce this traditional wine from the indigenous grape varieties Moreto, Tinta Grossa, Trincadeira and Aragonez. The grapes are grown in Vidigueira, the coolest place in the Alentejo region. The cold breezes that blow inland from the Atlantic give the wines their special style. Vinification is carried out with wild yeast in clay amphorae and without temperature control. The result is a creamy yet fresh wine (only 12% ABV.) with a salty and structured minerality.