Rule followers, consider yourselves warned: What you’re about to read may shock you. For those of you with a penchant for rebellion, you’ve come to the right place. Gone are the days of dusty old wine rules, traditionalist claims like “red wine can’t pair with fish,” or wine should only be bottled in glass and under cork. It’s 2022 and sentiments like those are no match for modern-day wine aficionados, people who appreciate a canned Pinot Gris as much as a bottle of Gamay Noir. They respect – and even enjoy – what the latter can do with a nice piece of grilled salmon.
The latest myth that wine types are actively overthrowing? Red wine doesn’t do well chilled. We could not disagree more (and feel bad for anyone who doesn’t) and it’s not just the warm weather and wafts of sunscreen getting to our heads. When you’ve got the right red — one that’s bright, youthful, and fruit-driven — chilling it down is not only acceptable but preferred. Just like with many white and pink wines, some reds are so juicy that a little chill actually heightens their freshness.
Dogajolo (pronounced “Dog-ay-yolo”) is a brand that knows a thing or two about breaking the mold. Unsurprisingly, they’re big advocates for literally the coolest trend in red wine.
Sure, the Italian label respects tradition, but it also likes to shake things up for the better. When it began as Carpineto in the late ‘60s, it brought fame to Tuscany by way of excellent Chianti. In the ‘90s, the Dogajolo label was launched. More importantly, it revolutionized the industry by popularizing its Toscano Rosso IGT or “Baby Tuscan.” The approachable, expressive, and decidedly populist wine turned heads and captured hearts in the land of trophy bottles.
Made primarily from Sangiovese, the Baby Tuscan is still a beloved member of the Dogajolo portfolio. With lively red and dark fruit notes and supple texture, it’s a red wine that loves a good chill.
“Cellar temperature is ideal for younger red wines, those that have seen little or no oak aging, and those that display lots of primary fruit flavors,” says Antonio Zaccheo, co-owner of Dogajolo. It’s a practice that whisks you all the way to the Italian countryside, no matter how loud the cacophony of sirens and car horns is outside your window. “Tuscan summer lunches, or aperitivo, typically include red wines in this category — fresh and fruity, perfect for serving chilled and letting warm up in the glass as you enjoy cold cuts, pasta with tomato sauce, carpaccio, and caprese.”
When daydreaming about sipping chilled wine under the shade of a cypress tree, feel free to include an ice bucket in your vision. However, you’ll want to give your bottle of wine a quick dip rather than a long swim. We’re not drinking Champagne here, so there’s no need to go full ice bath. A little chill can go a long way, so aim for a wine fridge temperature of about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s cooler than room temperature but far from frozen and guaranteed to be refreshing. After all, the objective is to enhance the wine, not give it hypothermia. If you overdo the chill, you run the risk of robbing the wine of its aromatics and flavors. But don’t worry about that too much. As Zaccheo mentioned, you’ve got the power to bring the wine to temperature with the palms of your hands.
Though there are certainly best practices when it comes to the proper serving temperature of chilled wine, keep in mind that it is subjective and extends beyond the lighter reds. “Even aged, complex, or ‘big’ wines are best appreciated when served close to room temperature,” Zaccheo says. “And if [the] room temperature is like Florida in the summer, then [it] needs to chill to at least 68 degrees.”
This would be sturdy advice from any wine enthusiast but it’s all the better coming from Dogajolo. The famed Tuscan producer is known and revered worldwide, associated with high-quality wines. The brand is born of a Tuscan environment where wine is not just food and farming but also culture; a kind of lifestyle. So if the Sacchets and Zaccheos of the world are enjoying vibrant red wines chilled, we are inclined to do the same.
If you haven’t chilled a red before, the Dogajolo Toscano Rosso IGT is an ideal candidate to test drive the trend. The Baby Tuscan is the playful younger sibling of its iconic predecessor, and though it’s light, it remains layered with enough detail to enjoy on its own or with any number of dishes (we’re partial to anything with lots of cheese). And if you care about what’s in your glass as well as how it got there, there’s further reason to savor this youthful, slightly chilled red.
Dogajolo’s wines are sustainably made, dry-farmed in the vineyard, and crafted in a carbon-neutral facility. The vineyards are enchanting but intentional, lined with native cover crops and teeming with biodiversity, home to not just grapes but wild boar, migratory birds, and more. There’s a sense of tradition that’s personified by Dogajolo’s second-generation winemaker Caterina Sacchet, but also innovation and experimentation, like the label’s use of lighter, more environmentally friendly bottles to help offset the winery’s carbon footprint.
Rule followers, if you’ve made it this far, you’ll see that we’re not bucking tradition entirely. Life simply wouldn’t be the same without bold Tuscan blends. Rather, we’re asking you to let go of some of those more expected beliefs just long enough to enjoy a sun-soaked aperitivo accompanied by a chilled glass of red wine. The concept might be new or unfamiliar to some, but it’s a fantastic way to honor the makeup of this style of wine. If it makes it easier on you, simply shut your eyes and think of Italy while you sip.
This article is sponsored by Dogajolo.