Dylan Jacob | Apr 01, 2022
Perfect drinking temperature for wine guide & Perfect Wine Glasses for Wine Lovers
Nobody could deny that wine is truly a wonderful thing. It’s been a constant companion throughout human history, right from its humble beginnings in prehistoric Georgia and Armenia, right the way through to the trendy wine bars of downtown Brooklyn, Berlin, or Brisbane. The ultimate expression of fruit and the land on which it grows, it’s beautifully simple, eye-openingly complex… and utterly delicious at the same time.
Given our love for wine, and the thousands of years of human history that led to it being the product we know and adore today, it only seems right that when it comes to the drinking, we take the steps necessary to enjoy it at its best. Taking care of your wine - and ensuring that it comes out of the bottle exactly as the winemaker intended - needn’t be massively complicated. In fact, it just takes a bit of care and attention, and a dose of know-how, to make sure you get it right every time and enjoy your wine at its best.
The vast majority of us may not have access to a wine cellar… but that doesn’t mean that we can afford to be lackadaisical when it comes to storing and serving our wine. We need to pay attention to the way our wines are kept when not being opened and drunk, and we also need to take care when it comes to temperature, too. Add the perfect wine glasses for wine lovers to the mix, and you can be sure of fantastic results that show off the finest features of your prized bottles every single time!
Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at wine serving and storing temperatures, and considering why temperature is so important when it comes to enjoying your wine as it was intended to be enjoyed. As with many so-called wine ‘rules’, these aren’t to be taken as absolute gospel - there’s always room for personal preferences and experimentation - but for those of you looking for great ideas for taking your wine drinking experiences to the next level, we reckon this is the perfect place to start!
Why Serving Temperatures are Important
Despite what you may have heard, serving temperatures of wine really are very important. Professional tasting rooms and wine bars go to great lengths (and shell out lots of money) to ensure their wines are stored at exactly the right temperature, in order to provide the greatest level of satisfaction when poured into the glass, and onto the palate of the drinker.
Why? Quite simply because the temperature has a significant effect on the flavor, aroma, and overall character of the wine. Too warm, and the crispness and freshness of white wines is lost, and the alcohol in red wine becomes the dominant character. Too cold, and the flavors and aromas of red wines become flattened, and those of white wines are flattened. Sure, they’ll be drinkable at the wrong temperatures… but is drinkability what you really look for in a glass of quality vino, or do you aspire to experience something a whole lot more worthwhile?
What Temperature Should Red Wine Be Stored at in a Wine Fridge?
There’s a pervasive misconception in the world that red wines should be served at room temperature. This is wrong on a number of levels. Firstly, there’s a whole load of understandable confusion surrounding what exactly room temperature is. Does a room in Sweden in the dead of winter have the same stable temperature as one in the sun-baked plains of South Africa? The answer isn’t difficult to come by. Secondly, room temperature (as it is usually agreed to be - somewhere around 20C) is a bit on the warm side for most red wines, which won’t reach their optimum character if served as such.
We can split most red wines into two key categories - full-bodied and light-bodied - and actually, if you want to be really precise, wines of these two types should be stored at slightly different temperatures. Full-bodied red wines (of the Bordeaux variety or similar) should be stored and served between 17-18C for maximum effect. Lighter bodied red wines (such as Pinot Noir or Chianti) should be stored and served between 15-16C, with some lighter varietals even potentially benefiting from being served slightly chilled.
At What Temperature Should White Wine be Served?
White wines are valued for their crispness and zestiness - they’re a refreshing hit of flavor and acidity which is an absolute delight to enjoy on a hot day. Again, not all white wines should be stored and served at the same temperature, as fuller-bodied or aged whites generally taste and smell better a couple of degrees warmer than their sharp and acidic lighter counterparts.
Full-bodied white wines (Chardonnay, Viognier, aged Riesling) should be served between 9-11C, while crisper, sharper, and zestier whites need to be served between 8-9C. Normally, casual drinkers can get away with taking their white wine out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving, and still experience great results.
What About Sparkling Wine?
We’re all used to seeing bottles of Champagne and other sparkling wines lying prettily in an ice bucket, ready to be served deliciously chilled. This is because sparkling wines tend to have more of an impact when served a couple of degrees colder than other white wines, and it allows the bubbles to take center stage on the palate. Serve your Champagne at 7C, and you’ll be onto a winner.
How Do I Guarantee That My Wine Stays The Right Temperature in the Glass?
As mentioned previously, temperature changes really can affect the way your wine tastes and feels on the palate. Therefore, if you’ve gone to the effort of making sure your wines are served at the perfect temperature, how can you ensure that they stay constantly perfect during the time you’re drinking them?
It’s an age-old problem that has bothered wine buffs and enthusiasts for centuries. Indeed, it was this problem that led to the invention of the classic stemmed wine glass (with the stem supposedly helping keep the wine cool, without the heat of your hands changing the temperature of the wine within). Unfortunately, this isn’t the perfect solution, as atmospheric temperature still has the ability to negatively affect your wine, as anyone who has sipped a quickly-warming glass of white at a bustling and overheated house party can attest. The solution? Get yourself the perfect wine glasses for wine lovers in the form of a triple-insulated stemless wine glass, such as those available from Brumate. Perfect temperature, perfect wine, and all the more satisfaction!
What Is the Ideal Temperature and Humidity for a Wine Cellar?
If you’re looking to take your wine collecting, storing, and serving game to the next level, then getting yourself a wine cellar installed is surely one of the greatest steps you can take. A wine cellar is a carefully controlled environment, optimized for the storing and aging of wine, either because you want to enjoy your wines at a later date, or you wish to look after them before selling your bottles as an investment.
When it comes to wine cellars, humidity and temperature are absolutely key. This isn’t just about keeping the wine fresh; it’s also about making sure your corks are kept in perfect condition. Too much dryness or heat, and the corks will start to shrivel, letting in excess oxygen which will destroy your sensitive aged red wines. Heat also ends up ‘cooking’ the wine, with traces of air expanding in the bottle, eventually forcing the cork upwards and out of the neck.
The perfect temperature for a wine cellar is considered to be 12.8C… but there’s a degree or two either side of that which should be absolutely fine. As for humidity, anywhere between 50 and 80% humidity is deemed perfectly acceptable, with 70% considered to be the sweet spot for aging wines for long periods of time (over 10 years).
Can You Store Red and White Wine at the Same Temperature?
Storing temperature and serving temperature are two totally different ball games. When in the bottle, both white wines and red wines require the same kind of temperature and humidity conditions for optimal results, so the temperatures and humidity recommendations in the previous paragraph should be absolutely fine.
There you go - some top tips for perfect wine every time, delivered exactly as the winemaker intended! If you’ve never given wine temperature a second thought, follow the advice above and see the difference it makes for yourself. You’ll never settle for a warm glass of red, or an ice-cold glass of white again!