Neither too hot nor too cold. Do you know the right temperature for red wine?
Hot days are around the corner, a time when when people like a cold drink, maybe a refreshing white wine, but what about red wine drinkers? Things are trickier for us. What temperature do we keep red wine at? Do we leave it at room temperature, even though it’s high summer? What can we do to cool it down?
There are plenty of questions and we have the answers. Carry on reading and discover all the interesting facts about the temperature for red wine.
The right temperature for red wine
Temperature is one of the most important aspects of wine tasting, and we can assure you that red wine dislikes extremes, it should be neither too warm nor too cold. We should dimply drink it at the right temperature for red wine, so that it can display all its attributes. Every wine ought to be served at a particular temperature and if we don’t follow that guideline, we won’t be getting the best out of the wine. So, take a look at the right temperature at which to serve red wine!
That wine should be drunk at “room temperature” is a myth
It is often said that red wine should be kept at room temperature, but it’s not a hard and fast rule. We don’t think that anyone in their right mind would keep and, especially, serve wine at room temperature on a blazing August day. We reckon that few people fancy drinking a red wine at 25ºC while sitting outside on a nice little terrace.
And we say that shouldn’t happen! Because, if the wine is too warm – over 18ºC – the levels of acidity and alcohol are accentuated, spoiling the flavour of the wine, and undermining its qualities. So, when the ambient temperature is high, don’t dream of drinking wine at that temperature! Believe us, drinking wine too warm can be a trial.
Whatever the ambient temperature, we should bear in mind the recommended temperature for red wine. If you’ve got a mini temperature-controlled wine cellar, that’s great. You don’t? No worries! Our recommendation is that you look for a spot with some humidity in your home, that receives little sunlight and doesn’t change temperature too drastically. Always make sure that your wines are kept well away from radiators.
If you manage to stop your wines from being stored at too warm a temperature you’ll preserve their intrinsic qualities. And, if you keep the bottles on their sides, better still! That way, the cork stays in contact with the wine, stopping it from drying out and helping you to preserve your wine.
But, why is it so important to look after the cork? This is because, if the cork dries out, it shrinks and allows oxygen into contact with the wine and it will spoil.
Don’t chill it in the freezer!
To chill wine you should at all costs avoid the freezer, as this is too sudden a change in temperature for red wine. Just as drinking wine too warm is not advisable, neither is drinking it too cold.
It is true, though, that there are red wines that benefit from cooling, especially young wines along the lines of Beaujolais or those made using carbonic maceration. If we serve these nice and cool we enhance their freshness and lightness of flavour and alcohol, but if the temperature of the wine is too low, below 13ºC, the wines loses flavours and aromas because the volatile compounds aren’t set free. In other words: it won’t taste of anything much.
Is the ambient temperature very high and the wine warmer than it should be? In that case you can put it in the fridge for a while, but not for too long. That way you get the wine back to the right temperature and it retains its character and qualities. Remember to avoid subjecting it to sudden changes of temperature!
Some tricks for keeping wine at the right temperature
At Coviñas we want you to enjoy your wines more than ever before, which is why we’ve set out our best pieces of advice to ensure that you always have your red wine at the ideal temperature:
- If you’re not getting the flavour of the wine as you drink it, it’s because it’s too cold. Try cradling the bowl of your glass in both hands and you’ll see how it warms up.
- If you get more than a whiff of alcohol when you drink it, it means the wine is too warm.
- Touch the bottle of wine before drinking it, you’ll be able to feel if it’s cool enough.
- If you’re one of those people who opens a bottle and has just one glass and then leaves the bottle open, it’s vital that you stopper it properly so that air doesn’t get in and also that you keep it somewhere with the right temperature.
With these recommendations and tricks of the trade it’ll be easier for you to choose the ideal temperature for your red wine. Follow these suggestions and keep your Utiel Requena red wine in the best conditions!
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