We’ve all done it – bought an expensive bottle of wine and sat sipping it in the sun, only to realize, it tastes like an alcohol soaked, box of old sneakers. Unfortunately, sometimes even expensive wines taste bad, but often it’s the temperature that’s off – not the wine itself. The reason is simple – the taste of wine is affected by the temperature of wine. If you serve your red too warm, the taste of alcohol can become more pronounced – and when it comes to wine, we don’t want the flavor to be ‘alcohol-y’ (or old sneaker-y for that matter).
Serve your white wine too cold and the nuances and character of the wine are often lost. Usually it is a mistake to serve red wine at room temperature or to serve white wine directly out of the fridge. Of course what’s right for you is a matter of individual taste – heck I know some people who stick ice cubes in their Merlot. However, there are some general guidelines in terms of ranges of serving temperatures. These suggestions are just that, suggestions. They are not scientifically determined but instead represent somewhat of a consensus in the wine community.
Here are those general ‘suggestions’:
|Style of Wine||Optimal Temperature|
|Light white wines||39 – 43||4 – 6|
|Rose, sparkling wine, late harvest & sweet wines||43 – 47||6 – 8|
|Medium or full bodied white, light red wines||47 – 53||8 – 12|
|Medium bodied red wine, light port, dessert wines||53 – 58||12 – 14|
|Full body red wines, vintage ports||58 – 62||14 – 17|
Now what do we mean by light white wines, full bodied reds, etc.? Light wines have lower alcohol content (generally under 12.5%) and include mostly white wines like Riesling, Prosecco, and Vinho Verde and some reds like Beaujolais and Pinot Noir. Medium bodied whites (with alcohol content between 12.5% and 13.5%) include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and White Burgundies. Full bodied wines (with alcohol content above 13.5%) include mainly reds such as Zinfandel, Shiraz/Syrah, Cabernets and Malbec. Chardonnay, while white, falls into this category as well.
Now knowing the temperature of your wine is the problem. Of course the simple answer is to use a wine thermometer, or have a wine fridge that cools your wine to a specific temperature. However – this isn’t going to work for everyone. We’ve found that a good rule of thumb (that is completely unscientific but has been tested and approved of by myself and my friends who are perhaps too polite to tell me otherwise) is for red wine – put it in the fridge for about half an hour before drinking. For white wine – keep it refrigerated and then let it sit out for 15 minutes or so to warm up before drinking.
Of course if you are on the go – for a day or night out: at the beach, at a friend’s house, at a bring your own wine restaurant – even if your wine is at the ideal temperature when you leave the house, it won’t be when you reach your destination, especially if significant driving time or waiting time is involved.
Our cool and stylish selection of wine purses and totes that have an insulated compartment in which to keep your wine cool (stick a mini ice pack in there for cold cocktails too). Check out our selection of wine purses here: https://winepurse.ca/product-category/wine-purses/.
A Grab and Go Insulated Bottle Carrier keeps wine or champagne cool and protected for your journey.
Freezable Chill It Pop 1 allows one to chill the wine while they are travelling.
And our Chill™ Cooling Pour Spout is a great way to cool, serve and preserve your wine.
To see these and other products designed to appeal to the beginning or experienced wine connoisseur visit the wine accessories page of our shop.