Knowing how to serve a wine is essential to respect its quality.
One of the main characteristics to be taken into consideration is the temperature of the wine.
Let’s start with the basics:
- Dry and sweet sparkling wines, sparkling wines, 4-6 ° C
- Simple white wines, dry and young, 6-8 ° C
- Aromatic dry white wines, raisin wines and white fortified wines, rosé wines, 8-10 ° C
- Mature white wines, very structured, 10-12 ° C
- Fruity and slightly tannic red wines, raisin wines and red fortified wines, 12-14 ° C
- Medium bodied and tannic red wines, 14-16 ° C
- Red wines of great structure and long aging, 16-18 ° C
These are the 9 things to know to serve wine at the perfect temperature:
1) Higher the temperature rises, better the perception of aromas and flavors will be. More you go down with the serving temperature, lower our ability to perceive the aromas and flavors of the wine will be. Consequently, it’s preferred to serve very “rich” wines in terms of aromas at a temperature close to 18 degrees. Wines that have a less extensive bouquet are served at lower temperatures. Even at 4/6 degrees if it’s a young and dry sparkling wine.
2) Precisely because the low temperature limits the perception of aromas and flavors, when a wine is served very cold it hides its shortcomings. Over the minutes, however, if there is a defect … We will end up noticing it.
3) It seems trivial but it’s not at all. When we serve a wine, white or red, it’s better that the temperature is slightly lower than expected. In fact, it takes just a few minutes in the glass to buy those three or four degrees that make the difference.
4) Technically it’s said that a higher serving temperature enhances the “softness” of a wine and sweet notes. Lower temperatures, on the other hand, enhance the “hardness” of the wine, and the acid notes. In some red wines, this is equivalent to making the astringency due to tannin more evident. And that’s not always a good thing. Therefore, it is good to serve a slightly fresh red wine only if it’s young and has few tannins.
5) Serving a red wine at too high a temperature, for example above 20 degrees, risks making it seem too alcoholic or “heavy” instead. A feeling that is not always pleasant.
6) Attention in particular to those who pour us a glass of red by waxing the old phrase “red wine should be served at room temperature”. This was an indication that had meant years ago, when temperatures inside the houses, especially in winter, never exceeded 18 degrees. Today a wine served at room temperature is far too hot.
7) If before dinner we find that the white wine we want to drink is too hot, don’t worry. We avoid putting it in the freezer but just dip it in a bucket with water and ice. Water is essential to cool the bottle first. Only ice is not enough.
8) Many of us usually store red wine bottles in refrigerated wine cellars or refrigerators. It’s a correct habit, especially if we live in a warm house. Ideally, just remember to take the bottle out of the fridge a few minutes before sitting down at the table. In all cases, even if we had forgotten to acclimatize the wine in time, we avoid heating it artificially before serving it. Any change in temperature must occur gradually and naturally.
9) In general, sweet and fortified wines should be served slightly fresh. Not a simple habit but a necessity due to the high alcohol content and sugary residue. Serving these hot wines means making them cloying and too alcoholic. In other words: unpleasant!