Booze, Enjoyment, Wine

Wine at Room Temperature is Too Warm to Drink!

Comments Off on Wine at Room Temperature is Too Warm to Drink! 27 April 2010

By Ada Walker

So, you like wine, or worse, you love wine!

The conventional wisdom is that red wine should be drunk at room temperature, often referred to as the ambient temperature. Right? Wrong. For the most part, room (ambient) temperature is about 72° F (22° C). Red wines, such as cabernet sauvignon, Bordeaux, syrah/shiraz, and red Burgundy should be drunk at 63° and 64° F (17° C), 8 – 9° less than room temperature, a very noticeable difference. Drunk too warm and a red wine will taste flat, losing its freshness and many of its characteristic aromas and flavors. Drunk too cold and and the subtle flavors and texture will be lost.

White wine is usually drunk too cold — right out of the refrigerator. The most popular whites – chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, reisling – are recommended to be drunk at 47° and 48° F (8° and 9° C). We are a long way from refrigerator temperature (about 37°). Even relatively simple white wines have their flavors minimized by over chilling.

More complex white wines have their flavors practically destroyed by over chilling. What’s the immediate solution? Take it out of the refrigerator about a half hour before you want to drink it. Bye the way, from room temperature, put that white wine in the freezer for a half hour. If it is already cold from the refrigerator take it out for a half hour. This will get you close enough to enjoy it. What we do know is that a white wine served too cold will taste more acidic, less fruity and sweet.

The lighter wines, red and white, tend to “prefer” the cooler temperatures. The bolder wines tend toward the higher temperatures. Even the champagnes want a temperature well above that of a refrigerator.

Drunk at the recommended temperature, and you will get the tasting experience intended by the winemaker.

Jerry Walker is a long time Southern Californian who, along with his wife, Ada, developed a strong liking for all kinds of wines. They traveled extensively enjoying the tastings of many wineries. During the winter months they were regular attendees at their local wine tasting establishments. Now, they are totally engaged in wine in an additional way. They are the owners of a great source of quality competitively priced wine refrigerators/coolers.

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