Article - RareWine Academy

What Is The Optimal Serving Temperature?

Are you fully aware of the correct temperature for serving different wines? Or do you pay enough attention to the taste of the wine, depending on the right temperature?

The Temperature Is Crucial For The Development Of The Wine

There are probably not many who doubt that temperature plays a big role in a wine - and even at many different stages in the wine's life. For the majority, the serving temperature is perhaps the most important, but for the producer, the weather and temperature during the growing season are at least as interesting. Even after production, the temperature is very important. This is a stage where the wine must be allowed to develop, under the optimal conditions, in order to preserve its economic and taste value.

The Optimal Serving Temperature For Wine

Serving temperature is extremely important for how the wine tastes out of the glass. Traditionally, many tend to drink white wine too cold and red wine too warm.

Often white wine is cooled almost all the way down to the freezing point, which means that a large part of the taste disappears. White wine will benefit from being enjoyed a little warmer than what you often experience.

When red wine is served too hot, then the alcohol becomes the dominant factor out of the glass. If you cool the wine down a bit, the fruit will come more into its own and you will experience more layers in the wine. In general, wines with less tannin can withstand being served even cooler and thus appear lighter and more elegant.

When placing the wine on the table, it will soon rise a few degrees when it is poured and stands in the glass, especially if it is hot in the room. So, serve it a little cooler than planned. If you did not have time to temper the wine correctly, then put it in the freezer for a good 10 minutes.

Suggested Drinking Temperature - Red Wine:

  • Pinot noir other light red wines with low tannin - eg Burgundy: 14 - 16 degrees
  • Merlot, cabernet sauvignon and similar wines - eg Bordeaux: 16 - 18 degrees

Suggested Drinking Temperature - White Wine:

  • Riesling, sauvignon blanc and other aromatic grapes - eg Moselle: 5 - 10 degrees
  • Chardonnay, chenin blanc - eg Burgundy: 13 - 15 degrees

Storage Temperature Is Important For The Wine

Storing wine is a completely different story in terms of temperature. You must strive to hit the same terms as in a cellar at the winemaker. 11 - 13 degrees and with around 75 % humidity. These are the optimal conditions for development of the wine. The most important thing about storage, however, is that the temperature is stable and does not fluctuate too much over a short period of time. If your wine is warmer than this, then the wine will develop faster than the optimal curve. If it is cooler, but above freezing, then the development will be slower. Consider this in relation to how long you want to store the wine.

The humidity contributes to the popular saying that there is no 'cork in the wine'. At a humidity of around 70-75%, the cork will remain slightly moist and thus not dry out. If the humidity is higher than 75% then there is a risk that it will go damage the label on the bottle, which is not appropriate if it is to look good when served.

Worst Place To Store Wine:

Above the kitchen cabinets are not ideal. Here the temperature often fluctuates a lot within a short time. It can ruin even the best wine in a matter of weeks.

Best Place To Store Wine:

If you do not have a perfect cellar or a wine refrigerator, then it will often be in the middle of the house where the temperature is most stable and where the wine can be in the best conditions: dark, stable temperature, and no shaking. The bottom of a wardrobe is another obvious option.

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