Of course, the answer to this question seems obvious: serve white and rose wine chilled and red wine at room temperature. Simple. But, when it comes to really fine wines, this answer is a serious over-simplification and you will not do your wine justice unless you take things a step or two further. Surprised to hear that? Then read on…
To discover authentic pleasure in any fine wine it all comes down to the details, and the correct serving temperature is absolutely critical. With fine wines, just a few degrees difference in temperature will have a considerable impact on the taste experience. It’s not surprising that connoisseurs and gourmets often insist upon having a high quality wine cabinet, multi-temperature wine cabinet, or wine cabinet with temperature zones in which to store their exquisite collection. So, assuming that you have a wine cabinet at your disposal, what optimal serving temperatures should you select? The basic principle is: the lighter, simpler, younger and sweeter a wine, the cooler the temperature at which it ought to be served. Conversely, a wine with more body, complexity and maturity ought to be served at a higher temperature.
It really does depend on the wine
A very cold serving temperature of 6°C is recommended for sweet, sparkling wines such as Moscato d’Asti. Simple white wines with a residual sweetness, such as young Kabinett-Rieslings from the Mosel, taste best at 7°C. Dry, not too heavy, white wines and champagnes should be chilled to 8°C before they’re poured into the glass. Less subtle varieties, like the major white wines from the Burgundy region and the fuller bodied Chardonnays from California, need to be served one or two degrees higher; this also holds true for particularly high quality vintage champagnes.
On a similar note, in the case of rosé wines: 7°C is ideal for uncomplicated, fruity wines with a residual sweetness; but raise the serving temperature by one or two degrees for more complex, better quality rosé wines.
Avoid serving red wine too warm!
It’s a common mistake to serve red wines too warm, especially the light red wines with fruit accents. Red wines derived from the Trollinger, Schwarzriesling and Portugieser grape varieties, amongst others, usually taste at their best straight from the cellar and so are best served at about 14°C. Pinot Noir wines are classically served at 16°C, and this temperature is highly suitable for almost all medium bodied red wines. It is only when wines have attained additional complexity and depth through aging that they should be served one or two degrees higher, e.g. the quality red wines from Burgundy. 18°C is the perfect temperature for drinking well-balanced, full bodied red wines, particularly Bordeaux wines, and also the great Italian wines such as Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino.
Really heavy wines from the warmer wine-growing regions of southern Italy, southern France and many of the Australian regions are best enjoyed at 19°C. But note: red wine should never be served any warmer than 19°C or 20°C as the torridity of the alcohol begins to dominate, blurring the transparency of the flavours.
Don’t serve red wine at room temperature
Above these temperatures, the characteristic multi-layered notes of really great wines simply collapse. So the notion that room temperature is best for serving red wine has to be laid to rest! The idea is actually centuries old – originating from a time when room temperature would never exceed 19°C, when rooms were never heated to 22°C as is so common today!
Whatever temperature you prefer to enjoy your favourite wines, Liebherr has the perfect wine storage solution – one to meet your needs and exceed your expectations, whether in the comfort of your home or in the hotel, restaurant and catering industries.
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