Andre Ribeirinho | Food, Wine & Travel

A hedonist's guide!

Short & Simple: Wine temperature is f*****g important!

with 4 comments

This post is part of a new Short and Simple series about wine. It is called just exactly what learning about wine should be, short and simple, so we can all have more time to actually drink what we love!

I’ve learned a lot about wine in the last 4 years of my life. I’m no wine expert but I do want to share what I’ve learned so far. I hope that by sharing what I know I’ll be helping other wine lovers discover the amazing world of wine and enjoy it at the same pleasure level that I’ve been so happily enjoying.

Today I’ll be writing about wine serving temperatures and how you can greatly improve your wine experience by paying some attention to them.

One of the first things I learned about wine was that temperature is f*****g important. Most people serve white wine to cold and red wine too warm. There’s a scientific explanation for why that’s a bad thing but I’ll leave that part to the chemistry experts.

So what at the right temperatures for each type of wine?

I like my red wine cool, my white and Port cooler and my Champagne or other sparkling even cooler. I won’t mention any specific temperatures as I’ll never use a thermometer anyway. And I don’t think you should use one, that’s just too much precision and that’s the last thing we want in wine. (If you still want to check out specific wine temperatures check wikipedia)

The fridge

I use my fridge to get wine to the right serving temperature. As a rule of thumb I recommend taking a white wine out of the fridge 20 minutes before a meal and putting the red wine in. This will allow you to have a red wine ready to drink at slightly below room temperature and a white wine slightly above fridge temperature.

Keep your champagne and other sparkling wines longer in the fridge and take them out just before opening them, they will be enjoyed at their best this cool. For Port, I take it out of the fridge 30 min before opening, allowing it to get a little less cool and just ready to be enjoyed.

I’ve used the freezer in a hurry in the past to chill down a wine bottle (and while I’m not proud, it did help at the time). If you do that, don’t forget to get the bottle out (believe me, it happens!) or you’ll end up with some delicious and tasty ice.

The ice bucket

Once you take a bottle out of the fridge it will tend to warm up pretty quickly. If you know you’ll be taking some time to finish your wine bottle get an ice bucket (or a cooling jacket) and put your red, white, sparkling or Port inside. Just make sure their are not getting too chilly as they rest inside. Keep drinking, to avoid that effect!

And that’s it. Correct wine temperatures can be that simple and good wine can taste that much better!

Update: my fellow wine lover Alastair Bathgate created the smartly named WART (Wine At The Right Temperature) campaign a while ago to help promote wine at the right temperature amongst restaurants and wine bars. Join the campaign on Facebook!

Written by andrerib

June 7, 2011 at 9:30

Posted in Wine

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4 Responses

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  1. [...] You can read André’s article here. [...]

  2. Useful Andre…I RT’d.

    Really annoying as most bars ignore this whether it be ignorance or laziness. Red’s too warm is an endemic problem at almost every local spot I go to that doesn’t focus on wine as their customer draw.

    arnold Waldstein

    June 7, 2011 at 14:36

    • Thanks Arnold. I do try to give some advice to wine restaurants and bars on how wine should/could be served. Still, most look at me as just another complaining client and I end up not coming back. I wish there was a simple way for wine servers to understand how important temperature is.

      andrerib

      June 7, 2011 at 18:16

      • We vote and educate with our dollars Andre.

        Places that love wine are always looking to do better. And as people like you (and I to some degree) keep sharing with our networks, more and more people will simply push the glass back across the bar and say ‘too warm, I’ll order something else’/

        arnold waldstein

        June 7, 2011 at 18:20


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