There is more to serving wine than just popping open a bottle and pouring. To best enjoy the flavors and aromatics of a wine, it should be served at the proper temperature.
The ideal serving temp for reds is 55-60 degrees, and for whites, 45-50 degrees. Considering that most people do not have a wine cellar in their basement, or even a wine refrigerator set to the proper temperature for whites & reds, what’s the average wine drinker to do?
I’d like to introduce you to the “20/20 Rule” which is a phrase coined by Eddie Osterland, America’s first Master Sommelier. The 20/20 Rule means you should put your reds IN the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving. Let’s say you have friends arriving for dinner at 7:00pm and you’ll be serving both red and white wine. Assuming your white wine has been in the refrigerator all day, take it out at 6:40 pm. At the same time, place your red wine in the refrigerator to cool down a little. At 7:00 pm, take your red out, and now both should be at the ideal serving temperature.
Given that the average American home is 70-75 degrees year-round, this is too warm for reds. Therefore, you can capture more flavors and aromas, while eliminating the “hot finish” with a red, when you cool it down. Red wine that is served too warm gives off a strong alcohol odor and taste, and this is because the alcohol is evaporating in the glass.
Here’s an easy tip for the next time you’re at a restaurant and your red wine is too warm: take a couple of ice cubes from your water glass and swirl them around in your wine for 10 seconds and remove them before they melt – we wouldn’t want to dilute the wine!
On the flip side, you will notice more flavors and aromas from your whites when they warm up a little. I like to compare whites to cheese. Which tastes better – the cheese you cut from a block that you just took out of the refrigerator, or the cheese that’s been sitting out at room temperature for 30-60 minutes? Of course we all agree it’s the cheese that has softened a little, bringing out more flavors. The same is true for white wine.
This is a tip that I provide for my tasting guests at my Traveling Vineyard in-home wine tastings. In fact, I believe this is the most important piece of advice I can offer because it makes a huge difference in the enjoyment of your wine.
To learn more about Traveling Vineyard and hosting a free in-home wine tasting, visit my website at https://www.travelingvineyard.com/10087/ I bring 5 free bottles of wine, the wine glasses and provide a fun and informative wine tasting lesson for you and your friends. Discover the best way to buy wine, with Traveling Vineyard!
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