Everything You Need To Know About ‘Smashable’ Reds, A Wine Category That Breaks All The Rules

For the most part, sommeliers have always told us the same old things about red wines. Unlike whites and rosés, red wines are meant to be slowly sipped at room temperature in cooler weather. Recently, however, a wine professional introduced us to one category of red wines that bucks those rules. They're called "smashable reds."

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"Compared to the typical red, smashables are lighter in body but full in flavor," Christy Frank, education development manager for Wine Australia and partner at Copake Wine Works tells Refinery29. If you've heard of 'chillable reds', smashables are the classic Australian twist on that concept. "Zippy, juicy, and vibrant, they're best served with a slight chill and are generally a little lower in alcohol so you can, you know, smash back a bottle," says Frank.

With these characteristics, smashable reds are a great type of wine to enjoy during these last few hot weather months, and as such, they should be stored in the fridge. "I've been drinking them all summer, but they're also the perfect transitional wine when you don't quite know what the autumn weather will bring," Frank says. They're also fitting wine for anyone who's been trying out the new low ABV beverage trend.

Frank recommended three different smashable reds for anyone who's looking to throw back a bottle soon. Unico Zelo Cherry Fields Clare Valley Dolcetto 2017, which is a natural wine, uses an Italian grape by way of Australia and is from winemaking duo Laura and Brendan Carter. Frank describes it as "light-weight but full of vibrant, crunchy fruit."

Her second recommendation is Year Wines Cinsault 2017 from McLaren Vale. "This is made from Cinsault, a grape that's typically hidden away as part of a blend. But in this wine, it’s all on its own and it just shines," the wine expert explains. "It's all juicy red berry fruit and subtle floral notes. Wine people love to talk about texture, and this one just feels good — it's silky but not at all heavy, with a crisp, zippy acidity that perks right up when you give it a bit of a chill."

Lastly, Frank suggests giving Charlotte Dalton Love Me Love You Shiraz 2018 a try. "This wine, from the cool, often misty Adelaide Hills, shows off the lighter side of syrah," she says. "Charlotte used a high percentage of whole grape bunches in the winemaking. I'll spare you the chemistry lesson, but this gives the wine a bit of stemmy spiciness that plays nicely with the red-fruit side of the syrah grape." Pick up one of these bottles and start smashing.

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