Serving Temperatures

Serving Temperatures

If you fancy drinking wine, then you probably know that many homes, and restaurants for that matter, serve red wines too warm and white wines too cold. Have you ever sought to know why it happens that way? Let’s find out where this comes from.

Generally, white wines are served cooler than their red cousins, and in an era where ice and refrigerators are a common phenomenon, this has been interpreted (or misinterpreted if you like) to mean ice-cold. Meanwhile, red wines should be served at “room temperature,” a vocabulary that was coined when rooms with thick stone walls were fashionable those days, and the indoor temperatures in such rooms were known to hover around 60 degrees Celsius.

In real sense, good bottles are compromised when white wine is served too cold. The complexities and muffling nuances of the drink are also compromised. On the contrary, mediocre white wines should be served ice-cold since the temperature will help to mask any flaws in the drink.

If you’re in a bar and realize that you need to knock back Pinot Grigio, it is important to ensure that the bottle served to you comes directly from a refrigerator. For a fine white wine, though, you should be patient as it soaks in the cold for 30 minutes before you can take your first sip. Be careful not to reflexively allow the server to put the drink on ice; take the temperature of the bottle first.

When it comes to reds, they are even trickier, of course, depending on the texture and age of the drink. Ideally, a good red bottle ought to be slightly cool to your touch. It is possible for modern room temperature to leave a good red wine fatiguing and seeming flabby. A slight chill is good as it makes the wine both refreshing and invigorating. Tannic wines may seem unpleasant when served cold. If the bottle is too warm, 10 to 15 minutes in a fridge or ice bucket works great.

The ideal temperature for serving red wine ranges from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius; it is not room temperature as many people believe. If you serve the drink too cold, its aromas and flavors will definitely become dull. So, unless your drink comes directly from a temperature controlled environment, popping your classic red wine in a fridge for a few minutes (usually 30) can work wonders.