Allow me to paint you a picture.
It’s a hot summer’s day in the south of France and the sun is beating down on a courtyard restaurant featuring red chequered tables and beige umbrellas.
You order a Beaujolais but the waiter brings out an ice bucket.
Thinking he has confused your broken French you protest, but he mockingly responds: “Non non non, c’est comme ça que vous devriez le boire”, and he’d be right.
Lighter reds, as I would learn that day, should be served slightly chilled in the summer months, with varieties such as Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Zweigelt and Lambrusco all benefiting from being drunk at around 50°F.
According to a new poll more than one in three wine drinkers didn’t know you could drink red chilled, with just eight per cent turning to red during the summer months as a result – instead preferring white or rosé.
Should red wines be chilled?
But Philip Sykes, principal of The British School of Etiquette, believes the research commissioned by Cono Sur Bicicleta shows it’s time to educate the public.
He said: “Many people think that chilling red wine is a faux pas but this is definitely not the case, it just depends on the type of wine.
“Lighter reds such as a Pinot Noir you would usually chill to between 10 and 15 degrees.
“In Mediterranean countries, it has long been customary to drink the lighter reds slightly chilled and we in the UK are moving in the same direction.
“On a balmy summer’s day there is nothing better than placing a bottle of Pinot Noir in the fridge and enjoying a nice chilled glass of red wine.
“It’s not only perfectly acceptable but will also bring out the flavours beautifully.”
Check the label
Anyone old enough to remember, or to still drink, Newcastle Brown Ale will be familiar with its label that changes when the bottle is chilled to perfection, and now Cono Sur Bicicleta is looking to replicate the feat.
The label on all Pinot Noir bottles changes colour when the bottle has been chilled to the ideal temperature, so look out for it before you crack a bottle open this summer.