Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wine Fact #4 - Temperature matters

Its too cold. Its too hot. Its too windy. Its too cold. Its too sunny. Yes, as you can see I am from Melbourne. One day its 32°C and the next its 15°C with rain coming in sideways; a temperate split personality you might say. This is typical of Melbourne. Something that is also typical is our wines are served either too cold, as in Riesling or Champagne, or too warm as in Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz. This my friends is a wine fact!

How many times have you been to a restaurant and have ordered, say a viognier, and have the waiter present the bottle for taste only to be met with an ice-cream headache instead of ginger or apricots. Most fridges these days are set between 2-4°C because of safety concerns with milk. This may be fine for milk, but it aint fine for viognier, or champagne, or chardonnay or anything wine for that matter. Same to goes with reds. Beaujolais is seen as a red wine – no arguments here. Problem is Beaujolais is best served slightly chilled, so therefore should be stored in an appropriate wine fridge. Same with Madeira. Just cos it’s a fortified doesn’t mean it should be drunk at 25°C – a temperature that a lot of people know as room temperature, which is true. Thing is, room temperature and wine temperature are two vastly different subjects. The average ‘room temp’ for whites is about 8-9°C and red about 15-17°C, not 4°C or 25°C, and that’s a wine fact!

Temp C
36.8° Body temperature
25° Laboratory room temperature
19° Vintage Port
18° Bordeaux, Shiraz
17° Cabernet Franc, Red Burgundy
16° Pinot Noir, Rioja
15° Chianti
14° NV Port/Tawny, Madeira*
12° Rosé, Beaujolais
11° Viognier, Sauternes/Botrytis wine
9° Chardonnay
8° Riesling/Bordeaux Blanc
7° Champagne
6° Ice Wine

2° Fridge Temp

0° Water freezes
-18° Freezer Temp

*Madeira can also be served slightly chilled

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