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Strewn Winery
 
November 10, 2015 | Sommelier Tips | Strewn Winery

To Chill or Not to Chill

Is there a perfect (optimal) temperature for wine? Maybe not, but serving temperatures are often overlooked in the plans for a meal or an event where wine will be enjoyed. As a general rule of thumb, cooling wines makes them more refreshing but also dulls the aroma. In hot weather, particularly if you are sipping wine outdoors on the patio, you may want to sacrifice maximum flavour for the refreshing quality of a fully chilled white wine and a lightly chilled red.

White Wines:
White wines are often served too cold, which can make them seem less aromatic and more acidic.

Typically, more complex white wines such as barrel aged or fermented Chardonnay should be served slightly warmer at 10-13ºC. Lighter bodied and neutral white wines such as Riesling and Pinot Blanc benefit from more of a chill are are best served between 7 - 10ºC.

Refrigerators are commonly set at 4 to 5ºC so it a good practice to take white wines out of the fridge around 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Red Wines:
With the advent of state-of-the-art home heating systems, room temperatures have increase. In turn, red wines are often served slightly too warm which can make them seem flabby and less fresh.

Lighter reds are refreshing when served between 10-13°C and medium-bodied red wines are appropriately served between 13 and 16ºC. Serving bigger, bolder and more tannic red wines too chilled will make them more astringent and bitter. We recommend serving slightly below room temperature at 16-18ºC.

Placing most red wines in the fridge 15 to 20 minutes before serving will benefit both the wine and the drinker! Of course if you like your wine warmer or colder, don't forsake what you enjoy - after all you paid for it and you are consuming it!

Temperature:
All wine is stored at the same temperature, regardless of its color. But reds and whites are consumed at quite different temperatures. Too often people drink white wines too cold and red wines too warm, limiting how much you can enjoy the wine. A white that’s too cold will be flavorless and a red that’s too warm is often flabby and alcoholic.

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