Wine Storage Temperature And Serving Suggestions

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The love of wine has existed since the dawn of time. Fossil vines, 60-million-years-old, are the earliest scientific evidence of grapes. The earliest written account of viniculture is in the Old Testament of the Bible which tells us that Noah planted a vineyard and made wine (well with all those animals on the Ark what was he expected to do!)

Exactly when it was discovered is unknown, but an ancient Persian fable credits a lady of the court with the discovery of wine. This Princess, having lost favor with the King, attempted to poison herself by eating some table grapes that had spoiled in a jar.

She became intoxicated and giddy and fell asleep. When she awoke, she found the stresses that had made her life intolerable had dispersed. Returning to the source of her relief, her subsequent conduct changed so remarkably that she regained the King’s favor. He shared his daughter’s discovery with his court and …

The wine industry and consumption continues to grow every year. Wine aficionados and connoisseurs are continually buying great wine to keep either for later consumption or for investment.

One of the most important aspects to ensure your wine stays fresh during storage is the wine storage temperature.

The basics of wine storage temperature are fairly simple. First, the wine should be kept cool. Like most beverages and foods, heat is the natural enemy of wine. A cool temperature is optimal, but the temperature should not be too low as this too could harm the wine. In the unlikely event that the wine freezes, it will probably only be suitable for vinegar!

The basics of wine storage are really straightforward with whites, reds, and blushes. However, the serving preparation for each of these wine types is different and something worth discussing. After removing the bottle from storage, getting your wine to the correct temperature is important.

With red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) is what is recommended. This is basically room temperature. Secret tip: in a room of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit the wine, due to being a liquid will naturally be cooler. It is highly advised to not chill red wines. This is a more common error than you think, the cold can be very destructive on the wine and its flavor.

With whites and many blushes the need for refrigeration before serving is key. Chilling truly brings out the flavor. Most refrigerators maintain temperatures that are too cold for serving wine, so allow the wine to warm slightly before serving.  For these types of wine 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 5 degrees Celsius is usually a good temperature.

In the case of most red wines, especially full bodied wines, it is advisable to let the wine “breathe” after opening. Just opening the bottle to let it breathe does very little since only a very small amount of the wine comes in contact with the air.  Typically, wine is best if poured into a decanter which allows for a greater surface area exposure and that, in turn, speeds up the aeration allowing the aromas and flavors to come out.  It is recommended you do this about half an hour before drinking (longer is sometimes necessary for more tannic wines).  Most white wines are best served immediately after opening to preserve the brightness and freshness of the wine.  As with everything, there are exceptions to the rule.  Pinots and lighter reds are best if served a little cooler than a hearty red; some of the full bodied Chardonnays and Bordeaux benefit from warming a few degrees above their white counterparts.

Now to tasting. Swish the wine around the mouth to truly get the most out of the flavor. I however recommend drinking as opposed to spitting it out!

In the end ENJOY the wine, it is after all a pleasure that has been with us for centuries.

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Categorized: Storage