Can you put ice in your wine?

I’ve been asked this a few times over summer and my response is that it’s not illegal – but it shouldn’t be encouraged either.

To me, it’s almost akin to dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant and squirting a dollop of tomato sauce on the main dish. Or adding a splash of extra paint to a Van Gogh.

The best winemakers craft their creations with precision, timing their picking of grapes to the day, fussing over ferments, weaving together different blends, balancing fruit and oak to achieve something special.

Personally, I’d feel disrespectful diluting their work with a plop of ice. However, it’s true: I do tend to put wine on a pedestal. You may well say, it’s only wine at the end of the day. So if it makes you happy to drink with ice, don’t let my frown spoil your fun.

What I do find myself doing in summer is chilling down red wine.

The truth is that in warmer parts of Australia, we often drink heavier reds such as shiraz and cabernet at hotter than ideal temperatures. These reds should be drunk at between 15 and 18 degrees, a little cooler than room temperature, to keep the tannins and acidity balanced. So there’s no harm in putting a shiraz in a fridge for a few minutes.

However, what’s an even better approach in summer is to select red wines that are well suited to being enjoyed chilled. These tend to be lighter styles with good juicy fruit and lower levels of tannin.

The Australian Wine Club this week has put together a lineup of lighter reds from different corners of the winemaking world that can be enjoyed with a chill. We’re showing off a Beaujolais-styled gamay from the Adelaide Hills, a pinot noir from Chile, a Sicilian frappato and a super-juicy Chianti.

You may not be familiar with some of these varieties so I’ll provide insights below. Be assured, they are all in top drinking form.

Just be careful not to over chill: too cold and you’ll dull the aromas and flavours, and make the tannins seem more astringent and drying. Serving between 10C and 16C after no more than 30 minutes in the fridge will do the job nicely. No ice required!

RedHeads Blue Belle Adelaide Hills Gamay 2023

Gamay is the main grape in the wines of Beaujolais, south of Burgundy, known for juicy red fruit flavours. The cooler climate of the Adelaide Hills is producing some super-drinkable local versions. You’ll find classic red cherry and forest fruit aromas and flavours here, with a hint of rosemary, aniseed and sage.

Lovely soft acid leads to a refreshing finish. Hard to resist a second glass. 13% alc; RRP $36 a bottle.

SPECIALS $29.99 a bottle in any dozen; $24.99 a bottle in Light Reds dozen.

w/o Frappato 2022

Frappato is an indigenous Sicilian variety that’s a perfect chilling option due to its low tannin content. Silician winemaker Dino Taschetta crafts this example where ripe plum and black cherry aromas lead to jubey fruit flavours and juicy cherries with a hint of almond. Slinky in the glass.

Bright and fresh but certainly not simple. A treat. Organically produced. 13.5% alc; RRP $32 a bottle.

SPECIALS $25.99 a bottle in any dozen; $24.99 a bottle in Light Reds dozen.

Casa Silva Cool Coast Pinot Noir 2021

Casa Silva has become one of Chile’s most recognised producers of premium wines, based in Colchagua Valley. This pinot noir was grown at Paredones in a vineyard 7km from the Pacific Ocean. A good decant reveals aromas and flavours pinot fans adore: sour cherry, raspberry, pomegranate and fig, wrapped in soft tannins and a fresh line of acidity.

Elegant structure. Matured in old French oak. 14% alc; RRP $50 a bottle.

SPECIALS $44.99 a bottle in any dozen; $24.99 a bottle in Light Reds dozen.

Collezione di Paolo Chianti 2021

From award-winning winemaker Paolo Masi, who has been leading his family’s winery in Tuscany’s superb Rufina district for more than 30 years. Created from sangiovese (95%) and colorino (5%), handpicked from vines of 15 to 50 years old. Generous sangiovese flavours of cherries and redcurrants, with hints of black tea, vanilla and milk chocolate.

Silky texture. Unoaked. An absolute joy. Superb value. 13% alc; RRP $28 a bottle.

SPECIALS $21.99 a bottle in any dozen; $24.99 a bottle in Light Reds dozen.

LIGHT REDS DOZEN Three bottles of each wine above for $24.99 a bottle. SAVE $138 a dozen.

Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.