Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wine Temperatures Made Easy

Since it's summer it's time to talk about wine temperatures. I have found (and read) that most times white wines are served too cold and red wines are served too warm. And I can tell you that it really makes a difference to the taste of the wine. But isn't a lot of trouble? How do I know what the right temperature is? What IS cellar temperature anyway? Why should I care? I just want to enjoy my wine.

If I told you that is a really easy thing to fix that does not require any special equipment beyond a fridge and countertop would you agree to try drinking your wines at the right temperature?

OK ... here are some tips on getting whites and reds to the right temperature.

White wines: If you are getting ready for a party you are probably chilling down your white wines in the fridge. So, here is what you do - about 1/2 hour before serving the wine take it out and set it on the countertop. Let it get a bit sweaty and it should be good to go. I would especially do this for Chardonnay or Viognier. For crisper wines such as Sauvignon Blanc I think you should drink them fairly cold. But try it both ways and see what YOU think.

Red wines: Pretty much the opposite of white wines, except I am willing to bet your reds are residing on the countertop (hopefully not too close to any heat sources such as a stove or oven!). About 1/2 hour before serving put the wine in the fridge and let it get a bit chilled. I know, I know, you are not supposed to chill reds. I am not talking about ice cold, just chilled a bit. You can also put the wine into an ice bucket (or any bucket for that matter) filled with ice and water.

If you find that you are often chilling down wines and want an even easier way to do it, consider getting a wine chiller sleeve. They are fairly inexpensive. I always have several in my freezer.

If you want a really fun video that talks about wine temperatures, check out this video from Gary Vaynerchuk. The discussion on wine temperatures is about half way through the video.

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