Wine Words-Temperature

Posted: Feb 7, 2018 · News

Temperature can make a huge difference in how a wine tastes, smells  and how long it can be stored.

People often refer to serving wine at room temperature- but what does that really mean.  Room temperature usually refers to 65F-68F which is much cooler than most peoples homes  year round.

Turn up the temperature
If you serve wine too cold it loses its aroma and flavor. Most white wine is served too cold- usually refrigerator temperature of 40F.

Try it, pour a glass of white wine  into a small glass filling it to the top and covering with plastic wrap. Leave the bottle in the refrigerator. Wait a half hour and taste the difference of wine served at 40F and wine served at room temperature( whatever that happens to be in your home). Red wines served too cold taste overly tannic and acidic.
Cool it down.

If you serve wine too warm the aromas are  intense and not in a good way and the flavor is off. Try chilling it for 15-30 minutes to get the temperature back  down to the 60-68 F range. Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature.

  • So what temperature for what wine?
  • In general Sparkling wines  around 40F
  • Whites and Rose around 50F
  • Light Reds 55-60F
  • Full bodied Reds and Port Style Wines   60-68F

Once opened, the  wine quality  goes down hill fairly quickly.  To keep open bottles of wine fresh longer,  you can 1) Close wine with a Zork and store in the refrigerator 2) Use a vacuum type wine preserver or 3) or pour the wine into an empty 375 ml bottle and Zork it. The idea is to keep oxygen off the wine. An open white might last a week and an open red about 3 days.  Even a Port style wine once opened should be consumed in a month.

If you are aging wine, 50-55 F and 75% humidity (for cork closures) is ideal. You are only going to attain that with a  wine refrigerator. Wine stored in your wine rack or pantry is going to age  4 times faster- so when you open that  forgotten bottle you found in the back of your pantry be prepared to dump it.