09 Sep Why All the Fuss about Serving Wine at the Right Temperature?
It’s pretty common for people to serve most drinks at extremely cool temperatures; when you have a close friend come over for dinner, you may just pull out a fine claret from your wine cellar and put in in the refrigerator to chill it well before you serve it at dinner. If you do this in an injudicious manner, not only will you be harming the texture of the wine, but its flavour will be impacted too.
The thing to remember here is that reds should be allowed to stand in the glass till the point it reaches an acceptable temperature. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that white wine should typically be served cold.
Let’s just understand what all this fuss is about and why it matters
When we taste anything, there are 4 main elements that we taste – sweet, sour, salty and acid – in Eastern cultures there is a 5th element – savoury. In order to enjoy all the subtleties of these flavours, we use our nose. Wines release their entire gamut of flavours only when they are served at temperatures that release those aromas & fragrances and that’s why serving them at the right temperature matters.
The temperature that reds should be served at
Generally, we mention that reds should be served at a normal, room temperature; but what room are we talking about here? Of course, here in Australia, we have quite a moderate temperature, though the climate can be pretty temperamental too. It’s why we can’t really obsess over this particular point. When you’re enjoying a glass of your favourite fine wine at home, it’s okay to be just a wee bit obsessive.
However if you are serving it when you have company, or even when it’s being served at a bar/restaurant, it should be served just a little lower than 15-16 degrees centigrade. It should be allowed to warm in the glass and you should then enjoy all the aromas that slowly develop. Once it has warmed a little bit, you can then start sipping on it. If you are consuming sweeter reds, those can be a little warmer; the sparkling wines should be a little cooler while roses should be even cooler than that.
The temperature that whites should be served at
You will find that when white wine is served warm, it tastes dull and flat. These wines taste the best, when they’re served at around 7-8 degrees centigrade. If you chill them beyond that point, they won’t have much of a noticeable bouquet. Keep white wine in the refrigerator for a few hours before you plan to serve it; if it’s gotten too cold, you can let the temperature rise a bit; simply remove it from the refrigerator a little before you actually intend to serve it.
If you are having quaffing wines, and feel they aren’t cool enough, you may want to add a few cubes of ice. However, this isn’t something you would want to do when you are serving fine wines. If you are worried that your wine will get diluted with the ice cubes, you can use plastic or steel ice cubes too.
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