Fine wine is an alcoholic beverage that has brought pleasure and relaxation to people for centuries. Pleasurable wines come in a variety of flavors, including sweet, tart, dry, red, white, spicy, tannic, chocolaty and more. Wine aficionados can recite the correct storage and serving temperature for the best flavor of the wine. Here are some easy to follow, basic, tips for proper temperature to store and serve wine for best flavor.
I have a friend that likes beverages cold. So whenever that person serves me a glass of wine, it comes along with the apology that it is warm. Worse, sometimes the wine comes in a glass filled with ice cubes, no mater how many times I protest that I like wine warm.
I tend to be on the other end of the spectrum, and enjoy most wines at room temperature, even through that is not always the optimum temperature for enjoyment of wine. Personal taste does play a factor in deciding which temperatures that wine should be served at.
Common advice is to serve white wines cold and red wines warm. That guideline is getting closer to the right answer, but that is still not 100% correct.
Smell is an important component in tasting of wine. One of the reasons that temperature is important is that the bouquet of the wine hits the nose as the wine warms slightly. The bouquet is brought out at different temperatures for different wines.
Many people store white wine in the refrigerator, but wine should not be refrigerated for extended periods of time. According to the wine experts at Love to Know, wines stored in the refrigerator average 35 degrees F. Most white wines taste best served at a temperature of 45 degrees. This temperature can be achieved by refrigerating the wine for about an hour before serving or by taking the wine out of the refrigerator before serving. Wine in the bottle should always be stored on its side so the cork does not dry out.
Common wisdom is to serve red wine at room temperature, but that is not entirely accurate. According to Love to Know, red wine should be served a couple of degrees below room temperature. This allows the bouquet of the wine to release as the wine warms in the glass. Red wine that is stored in a cool cellar will probably be the correct temperature. Red wine should be opened and allowed to breathe in the bottle before serving. This allows the complex flavors of the wine to be released as they mix with the air. Open the bottle and let it sit for several minutes to an hour. Some professionals decant the wine into another vessel, which helps the wine to breathe better.
Ask the Experts
Wine stores have knowledgeable staff that are happy to answer any questions about storage and drinking of wine. The sales people at the grocery store or mass market store are not as likely to be knowledgeable as a wine expert in a wine specialty store. When selecting a wine, ask the expert how to store the wine and for advice about the best temperature to serve wine for best flavor.