Bring up this topic at any cookout or holiday party and you’re guaranteed to get different opinions. And if this gathering involves wine, I can already see that bottle of white wine chilling in the refrigerator and a red sitting on the kitchen counter. After all, how many of us have a EuroCave wine cabinet or carry a thermometer on our key chains? Not to worry. In a rough sort of way, you’re on the right track but need to understand that modest temperature variations greatly affect a wine’s taste.
Nothing Tastes Good At Room Temperature
Tepid is the most unappealing temperature for most any liquid. Wine is no exception and simply doesn’t taste refreshing or complex. It just tastes hot and flat, especially if it’s red and has an alcohol content above 13 percent. The only mark of distinction on your palette will be the heat of the alcohol. When you look to history, wine was originally stored and imbibed in drafty castles. Their room temperature for most of the year ranged from 55 to 60 degrees F and this worked perfectly for pre-refrigerator days. Many red wines serve perfectly at approximately 64 degrees F. Bottom line: Room temperature is a subjective measure depending on an individual’s comfort level and time of year. If it’s winter and you keep your thermastat at 72 degrees F or conversely, if it’s summer and the humidity is high, you will definitely want to cool it somewhat either by letting your bottle sit in the basement, outside on the porch, or better yet get a EuroCave Home Wine Bar. This will allow the wine’s more complex flavors to reach your taste buds while still being refreshing.
Freezing Wine to Death Doesn’t Work Either
Serving white wine at arctic temperatures is just as damaging to the taste. You won’t be able to taste anything because the chill from the liquid will literally numb your tongue. This is especially important to remember with white wines like Grenache that are fuller and more complex. So go ahead and thoroughly chill that Chardonnay but make sure you take it out and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before imbibing. Otherwise, ice cold wine straight from the fridge will have many of its flavors masked. Better to have it cool and sippable yet still refreshing where flavor nuances are at their peak.
As a general guideline, the lighter the wine, the cooler it should be served.