May 24, 2018
Those of us who eagerly await summer’s warmer weather, and the fresh wines and colourful foods of the season, often mistakenly put red wines on the back shelf until the winter winds blow again.
But before you allocate your stash of red wines to the cellar, consider a new approach, and just chill.
The odds are you’ve read somewhere that serving red wine is best at room temperature; that’s not incorrect. However, room temperatures are nothing like they were a century ago—or even decades ago.
We tend to keep our modern homes much warmer (more like 21 degrees rather than 17-18 degrees Celsius) now; therefore we serve most red wines too warm.
More so, juicy red wines, those with lively acidity and high-toned red fruits as their frame, are even better with a chill.
Fruity Valpolicella reds with their moderate alcohol levels fall into this category perfectly.
What to expect:
Pop your bottle of Valpolicella in the fridge for at least ten minutes (not too long though, you don’t want to dull the wine’s aromas by over-chilling).
Pour a glass and observe.
Generally, looking at the Valpolicella in your glass, you’ll note it is ruby and brilliant, not opaque.
When sniffing, cherry aromas are typical, and often other tangy red fruits will be represented. It will be light-to-medium bodied with delicious harmony, expressive fruit and overall, not astringent, but there is a pleasing mouthwatering bitterness on the finish (making your mouth water for food).
That wine in your glass will be made from a various assortment of regional varieties—Corvina of course—this queen of Valpolicella wines is a mandatory grape and must make up 45-95% of the blend. Rodinella is another mandatory addition (between 5 and 30%). It may also include Corvinone, Molinara and sometimes Oseleta and Spigamonti, among others.
But there is no need to get caught up in the exact varieties, your job is to sit back and enjoy.
~Daenna Van Mulligen
*Image top right: Valpolicella Classica Monte Baldo, courtesy of Valpolicella Consorzio Tutela Vini