We know a thing or two about pouring the ideal glass of wine because we're self-described wine experts, or sommeliers, if you will. We've had the utter misery of coming into contact with a warm chardonnay on our lips, and we'd never want it on anyone, not even our competitors or harshest enemies.
As a result, we took some time out of our hectic schedules to share some pointers on how to pour the perfect glass of wine. If you have a nice bottle of wine or a can of beer, you must do your share to live up to the expectations of your beverage. And, while wine doesn't speak, we're confident they'd agree that the perfect glass of wine is all about temperature.
Why Does Temperature Matter?
If you're not a wine connoisseur or a professional, you probably haven't given much thought to serving your wine at the proper temperature. However, the truth is that the temperature at which your wine is served has a significant impact on whether or not you appreciate your wine. That is why some people choose to buy a wine cooler to keep their wine bottles.
The reason for this is because the temperature of wine has a significant impact on both the flavor and scent of the wine. When wine is served excessively warm, all you can taste is the alcohol and harshness. Serving a glass of wine too cold, on the other hand, hides the acidity, fruit structure, and sweetness of the wine. However, alas! Wine can be its finest self when served at the proper temperature. You'll get the best scent, body, and flavor out of it when it's at the correct temperature. We're finally starting to see why Goldilocks was so picky and opinionated! She had her justifications! temperature. So, knowing how to chill your wine to a perfect temperature for tasting comes very important.
The Do's and Don'ts of Chilling Wine
Because of their chemical composition, not all wines should be refrigerated to the same temperature. Acidity is a white wine's backbone. Tannins are what give a red wine its structure. The amount of residual sugar in dessert wines varies. Carbon dioxide is stored in sparkling (CO2). All of them contain variable amounts of alcohol. As a result, depending on the components of a wine, temperature can either mute or amplify it.
Let's start with temperature ranges that are ideal.
Red and Fortified Wine:
While times are a-changing, common wisdom used to be that reds should be served at room temperature. But what exactly does that imply? A hot, stuffy studio in the middle of August? Thank you, but no. Unless you live in a European castle where your boudoir is kept cold all year, the room temperature axiom is no longer valid.
The temperature of red wine should be between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures are preferred by lighter-bodied wines with more acidity, such as Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley. It should be refrigerated for 90 minutes. Warmer wines, such as Bordeaux and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon, taste better, so store them in the fridge for 45 minutes. Too cold red wine is boring, yet too warm red wine is flabby and alcoholic. Something in the middle, like Goldilocks, is just fine.
The ideal temperature for fortified wines like Port and Madeira is 60°F–65°F.
White, Rosé and Sparkling Wine:
White wines require a cold to bring out the delicate aromas and acidity. When they're too cold, however, the flavors get muffled. Fuller-bodied wines, such as Chardonnay from Burgundy and California, shine between 50°F and 60°F, just like reds. Dessert wines, such as Sauternes, fall within this category.
Colder temperatures, between 45°F and 50°F, or two hours in the fridge, are preferable for lighter, fruitier wines. Most Italian whites, such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, fall into this category as well. Unless they're porch pounders on a hot day, wine should rarely be served colder than 45°F.
Sparklers, on the other hand, should be between 40°F and 50°F, as CO2 is better contained in colder liquids. Due to their complexity and weight, vintage and prestige cuvée Champagnes can be served at the upper end. At the lowest end, Prosecco or other light-bodied fruity sparklers perform best.
How to Chill Wine?
This rule can be applied to almost any situation in life. Refrigerate reds and whites and take them out an hour or two before dinner. The optimal temperature for a refrigerator is between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have chilly patches where your lettuce always freezes, they'll help chill your wine a little faster. In terms of time, chilling bottles in the door won't make a difference, but if you open the door frequently, place bottles further back on a shelf or in the crisper bins.
It's something we've all done. As friends became more adventurous with their drinking, I loaded bottles into the icemaker, only to forget about them the next morning and find an icy explosion. While the quality of the product may not suffer as a result of the severe temperatures, the chance of a mess increases. When wine's water freezes, it expands, pushing the cork out partially or completely, or even cracking the bottle. This permits oxygen to escape, which starts the oxidation clock. Set a timer for 30 minutes if you're using the freezer.
The Best Way to Chill Wine Quickly
Place the bottle in an icy salt bath to keep it cool. No, Grandma's Epsom salts aren't for you. It will suffice to use the table version. Add salt, water, and ice to a bucket or container. The temperature drops as ice absorbs heat from the water. The salt lowers the freezing point of water to below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. In other words, rosé can be chilled in 15 minutes or less using brined ice water.
Other Chilling Methods
Carry an insulated tote with 2–4 bottles if you're on the go. A 750 ml bottle can be chilled with a sleeve kept in the freezer for singles. Pour a glass of wine and place it in the refrigerator at home. Because of its smaller size, it takes less time to chill than a complete bottle.
Reusable ice cubes can also be used to cool a single glass, but they must be frozen again once they thaw up. You can, of course, keep enough in the freezer to make additional glasses.
What Not to Do
A chilly stem glass, unlike a big frosty mug, lacks the mass and surface area to reduce the temperature of your wine. Ice cubes freeze the drink, but they also dilute the flavor, which is OK if you want a spritzer-like feel. Finally, according to the internet, you should pour the wine into a resealable plastic bag and place it in ice water. The temperature will rise to 50°F in about 2 minutes, but aren't we getting a little desperate now?