A refresher on the importance of temperature


In a previous article I wrote about the importance of cellaring and serving temperature of wine.

Unlike wine enthusiasts, the average consumer never measures the temperature of the wine he/she is consuming. More often than not, white wines are served too cold (as is the case with food too in North America), or the wine too warm.

Here are a few tips to practise the next time you serve wine should you have no thermometer on hand.

For white wines, two hours in the fridge, or 20 minutes in ice water with two tablespoons of salt. If the wine frosts the glass it is too cold.

Both of these techniques will chill the wine down to 10 C (50 F) which will reach 12 – 14 within minutes indoors.

Ideally, wine should be enjoyed indoors, to exclude sunlight.

For sparkling wine, 2 ½ hours in the fridge, or 25 minutes in ice water with salt will suffice.

For rose, 12 –13 C is fine and can be achieved within 1 ½ hours in the fridge, or 15 minutes in the same brine as mentioned above.

When serving white wine, you can also offer “bites” that can be easily produced i.e shrimps (boiled or fried, or skewered and grilled, potato chips (lightly salted), vegetables and dips, stuffed mushrooms, lamb sliders, BBQ pork or chicken, planked salmon, charcuteries, and soft artisanal cheeses (never serve processed cheeses).

For red wines 14 – 15 C ( 60 – 65F) as a guideline. For Beaujolais, you can even go lower.

Remember, once you pour the wine, it starts to warm pending on the environment.

Generally, North American temperature is 70 – 74 F ( 21 – 23C) which is too warm for any red wine.

Decant old wines, or vintage ports. Use appropriate glasses for each type of wine.