Now that we’re well into 2018 some of us are still working on fulfilling our New Year’s resolutions, while others have already abandoned them. Our resolution is an easy one to keep. Drink more wine!
So let’s make it count. How can drinking wine culminate into an even more enjoyable experience? The perfect wine and food pairing is a start to greater enjoyment, but what about something that can alter your experience entirely? What about serving temperature?
In researching this topic, we found that many wine experts believe most people drink their red wine a little too warm and white wine much too cold. Well, why should it really matter, and should it make that big of a difference? As it turns out, it does make a whole lot of difference because the temperature of the wine can influence how it smells and tastes.
For example, HRW’s dry oak-aged Chardonnay is best appreciated around 55 degrees, where the light oak taste comes through without dominating the creamy vanilla and spice aromas. If it was served 10 degrees cooler, none of those subtle nuances would come through.
At the same time, the lovely apple and pear aromas of our semi-dry Pinot Grigio, Three Wise Guys, really stand out when it is served at 45 degrees. The same goes for our semi-sweet Gimme One Good Riesling. If it was served any colder its mouthwatering crisp and fruity flavors would barely register on the tongue. In fact, if you are serving white wine that is already chilled you should first take it out of the refrigerator, (which is usually set at or below 40 degrees), for 15 minutes.
As far as reds, a common misconception is that they must be served at a warm room temperature. It turns out that red wine aficionados prefer a little chill to their red wine, and suggest actually chilling red wine in the refrigerator 15 – 20 minutes before uncorking it.
The lighter reds, (which are often blends, such as Knockin’ Heads Red or Crimes Against Vines), perform best when they are at the cooler end of the scale in the low 60’s. In fact, Crimes at 60 degrees will taste semi-sweet, but if chilled at 45 degrees it will taste quite sweet.
To enjoy the rich lushness of Cabernets and Zinfandels, however, one should serve them at around 62 – 65 degrees. And, if possible, use an aerater, decanter, or even a wide mouth stemless glass to let these full-bodied reds breathe ahead of time. This gives them more exposure to air, which unleashes their aromas and softens tannins, improving their overall flavor.
We recently introduced Harbor, a port-style wine, similar to a Ruby Port.
While many of us have always sipped ports and other fortified wines at a warmer room temperature it turns out that wine experts recommend that it be served at a cooler 60 degrees.