I have always lived by the basic rule of; white wine is kept in the fridge and served cold whilst red wine is always at room temperature – this was until I came across a few of the northern Italian reds which were A LOT nicer after a spell in the fridge, likewise with the nouvelle Beaujolais’ from Burgundy.
Though one night I was a bit taken back when some friends asked for their Cabernet to be chilled a tad – and to my surprise the slight chilling actually brought out a lot more delicious flavours in the wine, leaving no soupy tastes which red wine seems to get when too warm.
These silent laws of serving temperatures started back in the 19th century when central heating and double glazed windows didn’t even appear on a home-owners radar. Has anyone ever stopped to wonder if perhaps our ‘room temperatures’ today are actually turning our red wine to soup?
For me, it’s a definite yes, our air-conditioning units settle at about 22-25 degrees Celsius and in wine terms reds should general be poured at 15-20 degrees. Therefore I have got into a bit of a routine to pop a red in the fridge for about 10 minutes before we open it and this results in a more aromatic and oh so tasty beverage.
I have also started to pop my whites in the fridge about an hour before they are drank as when they sit along time in the fridge this can bring the temperature of the wine well below what it should be resulting in a flat, boring wine. This is if I remember, though usually it will be about 20 minutes in the freezer because I am too impatient. On those rare occasions I have a bottle of fizz in my possession I make sure that baby is well-chilled (usually around 6 degrees is perfect for Champas to be served at) and the boyfriend is on his way home with a doz of fresh oysters!