Serving your wine at the right temperature
Education
April 24, 2018

Serving your wine at the right temperature

What”s worse than a warm summer wine? Nothing – except the frown on your face when you taste it! Summer wine should be enjoyed chilled, we know that, but what temperature?!

It depends on several factors: the age and structure of the wine, its complexity and its balance, but it also depends on the ambient temperature. Even in hot weather, stay clear of ice cubes! Follow our advice to get the most out of your tasting.

The ideal temperature

Wine must be brought to temperature gently, over a few hours, in your refrigerator. What about a last minute spell in the freezer? Not for long! If the temperature of the wine drops too low, the aromas will be altered, and conversely, if it gets too high, the alcohol will be more dominant on the palate. On the other hand, the more structured or complex the wine is, the higher the tasting temperature should be. (To a point!)

Tasting a dry white wine

Dry, expressive, tangy and young white wines can be served at a relatively cool temperature, while dry white wines that are more mature, creamy and opulent, should be enjoyed at a higher temperature:

–   6°-8°: young dry white wines

–   8°-10°: mature white wines (over 5 years)

–   11°-12°: fine mature dry white wines (such as Pessac-Léognan)

Tasting rosé, Clairet and Crémant de Bordeaux

Rosés usually have few tannins and a lighter structure. They can therefore be served chilled in order to play their thirst-quenching role. Sparkling wines are tasted chilled for a refreshing effect as an aperitif or at the end of a meal.

–   8°-10°: Bordeaux Rosé

–   6°-8°: Bordeaux Clairet

–   5°-6°: Crémant de Bordeaux

 

Stabilise the temperature

Did you know that when your wine comes into contact with a glass, it can rise 2° in a few minutes? If you place a bottle on a table without protection, its temperature can also rise very quickly! Choose some handy accessories that you can use with your bottle right after the first pour:

–   Ice buckets are ideal for keeping the bottles on the table at the right temperature. Use this method for keeping it steady and ready to serve, rather than actually cooling it down.

–   A refrigerated sleeve is particularly effective at lowering a wine’s temperature and holding it there.

 

Tips

What if you don’t have time to chill your bottle in the fridge, or even in the freezer? What if you have just three minutes to chill it? Is all hope lost?

No! There is a secret method unveiled by sommelier Brian McClintic. Find a bucket of ice water and lots of salt. Immerse your bottle with a fairly large amount of salt and mix it around for 3 minutes. The temperature will drop much faster and you can serve your wine on time! 

DISCOVER MORE

Serving wine : Bottles, glasses & accessories

The art of Tasting

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Glossary B

Tannins

Glossary T