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Wine is a learned taste. <> Wine Color. <> Price vs Quality.
Letting wine breathe? <> Sulfites in wine. <> Wine serving and storage temperatures.
Wine, The Bible and a Mormon. <> The invention of champagne. <> Webmaster's Favorite Wines.

Serving Temperature
(Scroll down page for STORAGE.)

White wines are normally served chilled and red wines at room temperature. That is, at best, a vague statement. It is necessary to define what chilled means and what room temperature means.

"Chilled", is different from "Cold". Warmer than cold, specifically. A Chardonnay should be served chilled. To achieve chilled, you can refrigerate the wine. (Which makes it cold.) Then, prior to serving, remove and let it sit in the room so that the wine warms up a bit. About 15 minutes or so. If the Chardonnay is cold, it will kill the taste of the wine and it will mask the subtle taste qualities that the wine has. Serving the wine chilled will make the chardonnay much more enjoyable than if served cold.

Room temperature does not necessarily mean warm either. Wines such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon should be served this way. To describe what room temperature should mean to you, I like to use the phrase "air conditioned room temperature" or "Castle Temperature". I like to set the A/C to about 68- 70 degrees F. That is a good temperature to serve these previously mentioned dry, red wines. Serving a red wine too warm has the same undesirable effect as drinking warm water as opposed to cold water. Yucky. Absolutely never serve hearty, dry red wines refrigerated.

Exceptions: White Zinfandels and sweet red wines can be served cold. I think of them as Kool-Aid wines anyway. Sake (rice wine) from the far east, can be heated before serving.

Typically, Americans serve their white wines too cold and their red wines too warm. This description should help you to serve wine at the best temperature.


Storage Temperature

Q. Can you freeze wine?
A. Keep reading, I'll cover that.

Storage before opening the bottle:

White and red wines alike should be stored at a stable, cool temperature such as one would expect in a basement or cellar. Cellars also protect wine from heat and sunlight. The three things that kill wine are LIGHT, HEAT and AIR. Wines should be stored reclined so as to keep the cork moist. This will help insure an air tight seal. Wine is a perishable food item and should be treated with the same delicacy as produce. White wines should not be stored for long periods of time. Red wines are stable and will keep indefinitely in a wine cellar.

Storage after opening:

May you'd better sit down for this one. Some of you may know a little bit about wine already. But I'm thinking that you've never heard anyone say what I'm about to tell you. Once you open a bottle of wine, air is introduced and the wine wants to resume it journey toward becoming vinegar. After two or three days, the wine will not have the same freshness it did when it was opened. What do you do when it's just you sampling a bottle of hearty red wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon and you don't want to drink the whole bottle in one sitting?

Freeze it. Yes you heard me correctly, freeze it. Spare me all the argument, it works if you do it like I do it. Do it like this. Go to the store and get yourself a plastic bottle topper for wine bottles. Don't ever reuse a cork. That's tacky. If you open a bottle of Cabernet and you know that you want to save the leftovers, pour what you want and immediately put the top on the bottle. Let the wine that you want to drink breathe but not the bottled wine. Once the top is in place, put the bottle in a freezer. A dedicated freezer is better because it will get colder than the freezer section of a refrigerator. Leave it there for as long as you like. When you are ready to drink the remaining wine, remove the frozen bottle and place it in the refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours. Then remove it and set it in a room temperature environment for another 24 hours. Some settling of particles may occur in the wine so I do another unthinkable thing when I bring the wine out of the refrigerator. I shake it up to redistribute the particles in the wine. No, I don't buy all that "bruised wine" stuff. After the 24 hours of being in a room temperature environment has finishes, the wine is ready to be enjoyed again. Don't have a cow man, this procedure works fine with however expensive of a wine you try it with.

 

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