jamie goode's wine blog: Serving temperature for reds: cool them down, dude

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Serving temperature for reds: cool them down, dude

Tonight is warm. At 11.30 pm the room temperature here was 23 Centigrade. This means that wines at room temperature are going to be too warm to appreciate at their best.

I know it sounds nerdy, but wine temperature really does make a difference. Whites I don't have much of a problem with: I serve them from the fridge, and they then warm up a bit. While 4 C (fridge temperature) is a bit too cool, after a short while, they're fine. The only time I have an issue with white wine serving temperature is at trade tastings where the wines are frequently left in an ice bucket with an ice/water combination: this is a really effective way of cooling the wines to around 0 C, which is far too low, and makes tasting a waste of time. I'd rather taste white wines too warm than too cold.

With reds, people just don't think enough. Often, in restaurants, the wines are served warm - even hot. And they're totally rubbish when they are warm. Most reds are best at about 18 C. 20 C isn't usually a problem, but any higher makes them taste mushy and unstructured. Some reds are better at around 15 C.

The difficulty with chilling warm reds is that you can take them too far, so that they're at around 12 C (which is what I've just done with a pair of reds that I whacked in the freezer for 20 minutes). Oh well, they'll warm up again.


At 5:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is true. I used to left the red(shiraz) near my laptop exhaust fan and it flat and dull while it get warmer and warmer.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

yes dude I always drink my reds at about 14C or sometimes lower.
Fortunate to spend most of my life in warm climates were eating "al fresco" is the norm and practically always the wine is popped into the fridge an hour before serving.

At 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith - you live an idyllic lifestyle - what do you do?

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Tim said...

My flat is usually about 25C in the summer, and I just cannot enjoy red wine in that environment.

Even if I chill them slightly, they seem odd because even though they are the correct temperature for drinking, they still appear "chilled" because they are below room temperature.

I never drink red wine in the summer at pubs or restaurants - it is ALWAYS too warm, and it really wrecks the wine.

Thank God for whites, rosÚs and cider!

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Keith Prothero said...

-----I am a Swallow.Always follow the sun and working from home either in the UK or the Cape-----mainly wine related activities.
How about you Anon-----


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