When it comes to the serving wine at the correct temperature - oversights often happen. The truth is, the suggested Fahrenheit can make a wine stand out in ways you never imagined!
When it comes to our tasting kits, guests often ask me about the necessity of chilling reds and also about the recommendation to let both kinds of wine warm up, a little bit but not too much, just before the tasting. I reassure them that the wines will taste great without following this exact timing. There are, however, a couple of reasons why this method can help optimize the wine tasting.
As a wine warms up in temperature, the molecules responsible for flavor and aroma become more active and interact with oxygen. This can be a good thing for a white wine that is already chilled, especially if we want to hone in on some specific characteristics.
There are also certain reds that can benefit from being chilled. In general these are inexpensive, light, fruity reds. This makes sense since wineries often ferment reds in stainless steel to preserve fresh fruit flavors, while oak-aged reds tend to be fermented at slightly higher temperatures. Although full-bodied, oaky reds such as Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon should not be deeply chilled, they should not be served too warm either. A harsh alcoholic tone tends to emerge when they get above seventy degrees, which means you may want to briefly pop them in the fridge if it’s a warm day and the ambient temperature is a little toasty. Because a cool serving temperature dulls a wine’s aroma, it makes the refreshing acidity of the wine stand out a little more, a positive thing when you’re looking for something to quench your thirst on a warm day.
To try a chilled red, grab a bottle of light red such as Broc Cellars Valdiguie, Onward Carignane (which is very similar to the Carignan included in our California Wine Tasting Kit,) or Anne-Sophie Dubois Beaujolais and pop it in the fridge for thirty to sixty minutes. Fifty to sixty degrees is an ideal temperature at which to sip these wines and enjoy their fresh fruit tones.