Wine and temperature are a married couple. You cannot enjoy a bottle of Chardonnay without thinking about temperature details. Wine should be stored at the ideal level of coolness, and it should also be served with the right amount of chill. Different types of wines have different serving temperatures. Take your wine tasting experience to the next level by knowing the right temperatures to serve your favorite vintages.
Wine Basics: Storage and Serving Temperature
Heat is wine’s kryptonite. When stored in a hot environment, wine will spoil. When served at a temperature higher than the ideal, you won’t be able to enjoy it at its best. A true-blooded wine devotee knows that the best way to have a spectacular wine experience is to store the bottles in a wine cellar and to drink them at their recommended serving temperatures.
Our taste buds help us enjoy the four basic flavors of wine – sweet, salty, sour, and acidic. But, our tongue cannot sense all the subtle essences in a glass of wine. We need our nose to have a full experience with wine. However, wine does not release its complete spectrum of fragrances and aromas unless it is served at a certain temperature.
The ideal temperature for storing and aging wines is at 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Serving temperature, on the other hand, varies from one type of wine to another.
Serving Red Wine
You shouldn’t serve your guests a glass of red wine immediately after you take the bottle out of your cellar. The best way to enjoy red wine is to allow it to warm down a little bit to room temperature. A warmer environment allows the complex aromas and fragrances to develop, so that you can enjoy the wine more. But, how warm is warm?
Room temperatures vary from one location to another. The warmth of a normal day in Canada is very different from the regular room temperature in California. On average, most homes have a room temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which is too warm for serving wine. Reds should be served just a few degrees lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
To achieve the perfect balance of warmth and coolness for serving red wine, put the bottle in your refrigerator for around 45 minutes. A quicker fix is to let the bottle chill in an ice bucket for around 10 minutes before pouring it into a glass.
Temperature to Serve Whites
White wines are best served close to cellar temperature. As soon as you take a bottle out of your wine room, you can pour and drink immediately. You can also let them rest in an ice bucket for a few minutes before serving, because a little rise in the temperature will promote the release of bouquets.
Too warm and a glass of white will taste flat and dull. Too cold and it will have no discernable bouquet, which is necessary to fully appreciate a bottle. Whites are best enjoyed at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve Sparkling Wines Ice Cold!
When sparkling wines are served ice cold, their bubbles become fine instead of foamy. Before you open a bottle of bubbly, put in the freezer for about an hour. It’s very important that you don’t leave it there for longer than an hour because the wine will expand to the point where the pressure will break the bottle.
If you need to serve Champagne quicker, and you don’t have enough time to wait for an hour, you can plunge the bottle in an ice bucket for 30 minutes. After you open it and pour a glass, return the bottle to the ice bucket and keep it there until all of the wine is consumed.