Wine and cheese serving temps—storage too!
Wines and cheeses, ranging from champagne to merlot and from brie to blue, require certain storage and serving temperatures to be at their best. No matter what time of year it is, we have the thermal recommendations you need to be prepared for guests.
Wines and other alcoholic beverages have distinct layers of flavor that can only be completely appreciated when consumed at the appropriate temperature. When wine is served excessively cold, it dulls the taste bud sensation, making it difficult to identify nuances. According to Ron Dougherty, former Executive Director of theRaise a Glass Foundation and 13-year Head Judge at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, temperature affects how we taste different compounds in foods and beverages – salt becomes less pronounced as foods get colder, while acids become more pronounced as foods get colder, and vice versa.
Alcohol’s “burn” on our tongue diminishes as the temperature of the beverage drops.
Additionally, when the temperature rises, aromatic chemicals become more visible.
Some suggestions for storing your wines properly are provided below.
5 Tips for Storing Wine:
- Begin by storing the product at the proper temperature. Maintain a calm, but not too cool, demeanor. In general, the recommended storage temperature range is 45–65°F (7–18° C), with 55° F (13° C) being considered the ideal temperature. The average refrigerator temperature is less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). With temperatures that low, the humidity level lowers, the cork can dry up, and air from the refrigerator can leak into the bottle, causing the wine to get damaged. It is possible that scents and tastes will become flat if they are stored at temperatures over 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Keep extreme temperature variations to a minimum. While a journey home from the wine store is unlikely to do damage to your bottle, keeping it in your car for the entire day in the heat of summer is a different story
- For this reason, many wine bottles are colored to prevent them from being exposed to direct sunlight while being kept. The tint, much like a pair of sunglasses, serves to decrease the penetration of ultraviolet light. When tastes are exposed to light, they might become less flavorful. Store your wine in a horizontal position. In order to prevent the cork from drying out, wine is customarily kept horizontally, however this isn’t essential if the wine will be eaten within a short period of time. Maintain the humidity of your wine. Humidity levels between 50 and 80 percent are considered optimum in the storage space. Mold can form on the corks and behind the foil if the temperature is too high. Our Thermo Hygrometer may be used to keep track of the temperature and humidity in your wine cellar or refrigerator. Maintain complete stillness in your wine. A lot of jostling can create chemical reactions in the wine, and sediment in older wines will be disturbed as a result of this.
Once you’ve taken good care of your bottle of wine, make certain that its integrity is preserved throughout its journey to the glass by serving it at the appropriate temperature. There are many different types of wines available, but you don’t have to be an expert to understand the fundamentals. For wine temps, there are certain broad parameters you may follow, and Dougherty suggests the following temperature scheme:
- White wines should be served at 45–49°F (7–9°C)
- Red wines should be served at 56–60°F (13–16°C)
- Rosé wines should be served at 48–52°F (9–11°C)
- Sparkling wines should be served at 43–47°F (6–8°C)
- Dessert wines should be served at 48–52°F (9–11°C)
- Fortified wines should be served at 53–57°F (12–14°C).
Specific varietals have their own recommended serving temps for the greatest drinking experience within those basic temperature ranges, which are shown below.
Red wine temperature, white wine temperature: wine serving temperature chart
The information provided above is the most rudimentary of directions, yet it will, when all else fails, get you to a secure location. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule in existence. Other reds like a bit more warmth, while some whites prefer a little more coolness. You may have other favorites as well! Getting started with these temperatures is a decent rule of thumb, but now comes the fun part. experimenting! Perhaps the 58°F temperature of that powerhouseZin with 15 or higher ABV is a little too hot for you?
Serving a crisp Sauv Blanc with salty oysters is a great idea.
Trying different temperatures for the same wine is a terrific method to learn more about the wine and your taste at the same time.
Ron Dougherty is a renowned author and public speaker. If you need a starting point for your trip of discovery, refer to the following more-detailed chart regarding serving temperatures of wine:
|Red Burgundy, Cabernet Sauvignon||63°F(17°C)|
What methods are used to obtain these optimal temperatures? After extracting a bottle of red wine from storage, let it at room temperature for a few minutes to allow the wine’s temperature to gradually rise. White or sparkling wine can be chilled to the right serving temperature by placing it in the refrigerator or in an ice bath for a few hours. Use an instant-read thermometer, such as an aThermapen®, to quickly spot-check the temperature of the wine to ensure that it has reached the desired temperature before serving.
It is more accurate to use an instant-read thermometer, such as the Thermapen ®, to take the temperature reading.
Keep a wine glass in your hand by the stem rather than cupping it in your palm like you would with a cupped cup of coffee.
Wine glasses are designed with stems that aid to preserve the appropriate serving temperature of the wine.
An selection of artisan cheeses is sometimes served as a first course at holiday gatherings. However, in order to achieve the finest flavor and texture from the cheese, it must be stored and served properly. Fine artisan cheeses are the result of time-consuming production techniques. You’ll want to make certain that the cheeses you choose for your occasion are as tasty as they possibly can be by handling them correctly once you’ve taken them back from your shopping trip.
Tips for Storing
- On the menu of many Christmas parties, you’ll find a selection of fine artisanal cheese. To get the finest flavor and texture out of the cheese, though, you need keep it and serve it in the proper manner. Fine handmade cheeses are the result of lengthy and time-consuming production procedures. You’ll want to make certain that the cheeses you choose for your occasion are as tasty as they possibly can be by handling them correctly once you’ve taken them home.
- Preparation:Prepare immediately before serving. If possible, get cheese from a seller who will cut a chunk from a whole wheel of cheese for you on the premises. When cheese is kept as intact as possible in its rind for as long as possible, it is able to preserve its optimal taste. Cheeses begin to lose their dynamic scents and tastes as soon as they are chopped.
The rich tastes of old cheeses, like those of fine wine, are best appreciated when they are served at the right serving temperature. While you’ve spent the time and money to pick the perfect cheeses, you’ll want to treat them with the same level of care when keeping them and presenting them. When cheese is stored in the refrigerator at low temperatures, the milk fat becomes hard and waxy, similar to that of cold butter. Gently bringing the cheese to room temperature will allow the milk fat to melt, resulting in a more enjoyable texture.
The following is the advice of Mariah Christensen, Specialty Cheese Buyer at Harmon’s Grocery: “All cheeses should be served at room temperature.” When we are exposed to temperatures that are near to our body temperature, we are more sensitive to tastes. Cheddar cheese has fat-soluble tastes that are more readily discernible when the fat is warm.— Mariah Christensen is a model and actress. “Cheese should be allowed to come to room temperature one hour before serving,” says Christensen as well.
Room temperature is generally believed to be somewhere between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 degrees Celsius), with 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 22 degrees Celsius) being the most optimum range for serving cheese.
To ensure that each cheese has been properly warmed from edge to edge, use an instant-read thermometer, such as a Thermapen, to rapidly check the interior temperature of each cheese just prior to serving.
Don’t “Sweat” It
Serve cheese at temperatures of 80°F (27°C) or higher to avoid melting the cheese. At these higher temperatures, milk fat begins to melt and rise to the surface of the cheese, giving it the appearance of beads of sweat on the exterior of the cheese (pictured at right). Keep the cheese at a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 22 degrees Celsius). Once your wine and cheese have reached their ideal serving temperatures, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your company! Cheers!
Putting it all together…
It goes without saying that wine and cheese are two indisputable pleasures that are enhanced even more when served at the appropriate temperature. Knowing how to properly serve these items can maximize your pleasure of them as well as the experience of your visitors who will benefit from your knowledge. However, you should feel free to experiment with the temperatures to find what you want. “Remember, our sense of taste is a unique attribute, much like fingerprints; we all ‘taste’ differently, as Dougherty points out.” So crack open a bottle with a group of friends, whip out your Thermapen ®, and go on a new adventure in ‘wine tasting.'” Products that were used:
WineLoversPage – Straight talk in plain English about fine wine
|Dessert wine: How cold?It doesn’t take most of us long to learn the basic rule of wine-serving temperature: Red wines at room temperature. White wines cold. (The nuances and exceptions can come later.)But what about dessert wines?These sweet, strong after-dinner goodies don’t seem to fit neatly into either category.Rather than merely follow the conventional wisdom, I thought it might be more fun totestit.With a half-bottle of Quady “Essensia” California Orange Muscat ready for tasting (as promised in Monday’s “Muscat Ramble”), I set the scene by popping the bottle into the refrigerator in the morning. A half-hour before serving time, I moved it to the freezer for a short final chill.I started taking notes immediately, while the wine was still cold enough to frost the glass, and continued jotting down my impressions over the course of the evening as it warmed to room temperature.At its coldest, the wine seemed surprisingly light-bodied, almost thin, and the flavor – dominated by orange-peel – came across as rather one-dimensional. It “opened up” as it warmed, though, and after about an hour, when the glass was still quite cool to the touch but no longer ice-cold, its texture seemed thicker, almost velvety, and the orange peel had added attractive notes of mint and spice with a pleasantly bitter finish. Toward the end of the evening when it had come all the way up to room temperature, it was still tasty but seemed almost syrupy.The wine struck the best balance, it seemed to me, when it reached the middle of the coolness range – which, not coincidentally, approximates the natural temperature of caves and underground cellars, around 55F or 13C. In this instance, the conventional wisdom seemed justified, and I wouldn’t hesitate to advise drinking any quality dessert wine, from Muscat to Sauternes to Vintage Port, at a similar point.There’s no need for obsessive precision, though.Put your dessert wine in the refrigerator for an hour before serving, or maybe 20 minutes in the freezer (don’t forget it’s there!) until the bottle is perceptibly cool to the touch but not icy, and you’ll be fine. If you err on the cold side, no problem, just give the wine a few moments to warm in the glass.Your assignment for further study, if you choose to take it, is to try a similar experiment the next time you open a red wine, or a white.Challenge the conventional wisdom by tasting a red wine cold and a white at room temperature, and draw your own conclusions.Paying attention to the standard advice is always good. Checking it out for yourself can be even better.
Quady 2000 “Essensia” California Orange Muscat ($11.49/375 ml)This is a clear, bright golden-bronze wine with ripe, appealing aromas of orange peel and delicate spice, adding a pleasant minty nuance in the background. Very sweet and fairly full-bodied, light acidity and a pleasant bitter note in the finish add a bit of complexity to sweet-orange flavors. (Jan. 29, 2003)FOOD MATCH:Best served by itself after dinner, although I could imagine it with creme brulee or a dessert flavored with orange liqueur. For some dessert ideas, see Quady’s desserts page,.VALUE:Very good value by the relatively pricey standard of quality dessert wines.WHEN TO DRINK:I like sweet Muscat young and fresh, but its 15 percent alcohol would help preserve the wine should you choose to cellar it. Expect it to change after a few years, but it might be interesting to see what happens.WEB LINK:You’ll find the winery’s Essensia fact sheet here:.
CorrectionIn an act of exceptional carelessness in Wednesday’s Wine Advisor, discussing the vinous Super Bowl bet between the governors of California and Florida, I inadvertently wrote that ” Californialaw makes it a felony for anyone but a licensed distributor to ship wine (or any other alcoholic beverage) into the Sunshine State.”As I hope the context made clear, that should have read ” Floridalaw.” Thanks to all who sent kind and gentle notes pointing out the error.AdministriviaTo subscribe or unsubscribe from The 30 Second Wine Advisor, change your E-mail address, or for any other administrative matters, please use the individualized hotlink found at the end of your E-mail edition. If this is not practical, contact me by E-mail [email protected], including the exact E-mail address that you used when you subscribed, so I can find your record.We do not use our E-mail list for any other purpose and will never give or sell your name or E-mail address to anyone. I welcome feedback, suggestions, and ideas for future columns. Tocontact me, please send E-mail [email protected] the wine-tasting reports posted here are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores and accept no samples, gifts or other gratuities from the wine industry.Friday, Jan. 31, 2003Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.Subscribe to the 30 Second Wine Advisor Wine Advisor archives
Shelf Life of Wine
|Black Hills Estate WineryThe age old question is, “how long can you store a bottle of wine before it willdie?” The life expectancy of most wines is only a few years. Mostare made to be drunk within months of bottling. Ifa wine is suitable for aging it will also depend upon the external conditions of how the wine is stored.Sure,french wines stored in caves come to mind, but here in Canada we do not have underground wine caves suitable for storing. Even in France there is no guarantee the wine would notdie. There is no chart, no standard, no direction beyond perfect storage and a few winemaker tricks to ensure that wine can be aged. It may be safe to say that sweet wines age better than dry wines. Do whites age better than red; apparently not.Red wines are produced by using the skin of the grape. Tannins are the key in aging red wines and come mostly from the skin of the grape. The quality and quantity of tannins depends upon the grape varieties. The tannins act as a preservative. Thicker skin grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah have better aging prospects.Other factors also enter the picture, dry summer weather improves the aging prospect, the talents of the winemaker or vineyard manger also comes into play. Low yields increase the tannins along with longer skin contact and barrel aging has its effects too. It is also important as to when the grapes are harvested. Mature grapes have better aging potential. So now we know why winemakers go to school and spend years learning their trade. Winemaking can be simple or it can be very complex. My personal recommendation is to ask at the winery which wines the winemaker has determined shouldbe aged.The dateon a bottle of wine refers to its vintage, the year the grapes were harvested.Often a wine is not released until three or four years afterharvest. That’s when the winemaker determines it’s ready to be enjoyed.Aging wine in a cellar demandslittle or no exposure to oxygen and light; the temperature at which you store wine is also very important. Wine should never be stored above 59% F or (15 C) * A wine cellar can also be too cold. 25 C or 17 F is far too cold and will damage the wine. Temperature fluctuation is a also a major concern.Allowing the temperature to fluctuate, the bottle begins tobreathethe liquid and air expands and contracts, this results in either the wine being forced out the neck of the bottle, or air (oxygen) to enter. This is known as weeping.Humidity is also an important factor in wine storage. The humidity should be between 75% and 85%, if not, the cork will dry out and harmful oxygen will be able to enter. Humidity used to be very harmful to a label, today’s labels can handle this concern.Ultraviolet rays can also change the wine, most wines are sold in coloured bottles that help filter the light. Never allow sunlight to enter your cellar, avoid artificial lights when possible and no fluoresced lights should be used.Wines should be stored on their side; especially corked wines.Today’s screw caps andStelvincaps help preserve wines The ideal temperature for long-term wine storage is generally 55°F. This allows for slow and proper aging of the wine. A temperature that is too hot will increase the speed of aging and a temperature too low will slow the pace of aging. However, rapid changes in temperature are more damaging to your wine than a steady high or low temperature in the cellar.The proper humidity level has been determined to be 60 to 65 percent relative humidity. A humidity level any higher (at a temperature of 55°F) will be too humid and cause mold issues and deterioration of labels. A humidity level that is too low will result in a dry cork, which allows the opportunity for oxygen to reach your wine and cause oxidation.Old cellar vaults with a natural earth or stone floor, high humidity and temperatures that stay constant provide the best conditions for storage.Adding Sulfites to Wine Sulfites are a naturally occurring compound that nature uses to prevent microbial growth. They are found naturally on grapes, onions, garlic, andmany other growing plants.Winemakers have been adding additional sulfites to wines for millennia. The Greeks and Romans used sulfur candles to sterilize their wine barrels and amphorae. Sulfur protects damage to the wine from oxygen, and again helps prevent organisms from growing in the wine. This allows the wine to “last longer” also, which lets it age and develop all of those complex flavours we allenjoy so much. Ifsulfites weren’t added, wine would turn into vinegar in a matter of months. If you make wine without adding sulfur, it’s going to be more fragile. It will start to lose its aroma sooner, start to lose its colour and eventually become muddy or cloudy. That can take years in some cases, but it can also be as little as a few months. When purchsing wine unless youhave proper storage it is best to consume the wine within a few weeks of purchase.But what about the shelf life of wine after the bottle is openMy best advice is drink the wine within a few days especially for whites. Oxygen is the enemy of wine; as is light and temperature.Sometimes a wine that is not perfect can be enhanced by a few extra days in the fridge. Once a bottle has been opened proper resealing helps preserve the wine an extra day or so. There are numerous products on the market that claim to extend shelf life.Dessert Wines Wines with higher sugar residual tend to be better suited to long-term cellaring than dry wines. The higher the sugar count the better for aging the wine. Some dessert whites can develop for ten years. Chenin Blanc has good aging qualities, but once opened a few days of shelf life is the best you can expect.IcewineWith such a brief history, determining the ability of icewines to improve with time is open to conjecture. Sweet wines must have good acidity to gain complexity, so good balance is essential for long-term storage. Icewines are so attractive when young that there are few examples to assess (and those are very expensive). The best method for choosing an appropriate icewine to cellar is to base your choice on the grape variety used to make the wine. Icewines made with the Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes should be consumed when young. Gewürztraminer and Ehrenfelser can frequently be low in acid, and while they will keep for 3-5 years, they are not good candidates for the cellar. Vidal is good for 5-7 years, although Inniskillin Ontario has Vidal Icewines from the 1980’s that are reportedly superb. For long-term aging, Riesling offers the best chance. The great, long-lived dessert wines of Germany are Rieslings, and the grape’s ability to retain acidity, even in the hottest years, make Riesling icewines the best bet for long-term cellaring. As with any other wine, good cellar conditions (constant, cool temperature) are crucial to allow the wine to develop its full potential. Icewines can be enjoyed in their youth or aged for many years. Icewine in its youth will display classic fresh fruit characteristics and are crisp and clean. As they age, the wines tend to have a greater degree of complexity and depth, and begin to offer up a wider range of intense aromatics. During the aging process, the naturally concentrated acidity helps to maintain the structure and balance of the vintage. Icewines will also darken to a rich deep yellow/honey color as they age and if they are handled and stored correctly, they will also increase in value. Icewine unopened and stored on it side in a consistent and cool place (55-65 °F or 12-18 °C) and away from vibrations can keep for many years. Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser two pioneers in the making of icewine say in their book “Icewine Extreme Winemaking” that ” Much depends on the initial sugar concentration of the juice and total acidity. It is a good bet that Icewines made from grapes with low pH, high acidity and reasonable alcohol could live for 50 years or longer if cellared properly and kept very cool 10 to 13 C 55F”How long will an open bottle of Icewine last? Due to the high sugar content, an open bottle of icewine will last 3-5 days after opening if re-corked and stored in the fridge. Why this would happen is beyond me. In our house, once a bottle is opened it is considered gone from the cellar!The Chemistry of Aging Wine Wine is a complex combination of many chemical compounds, which change as they interact with each other and their environment. Intricate reactions between the acids, sugars, alcohols, esters and phenolic compounds in wine are what modify the aromas in the bottle. When wine is aged, we hope for changes that cause the wine to mature well by gaining a complex mix of complimentary flavours. As the chemical reactions that take place during aging vary between grape varietals, regions, and even crops from year to year, they are not easily quantifiable, and we are not yet at a point from which we can predict exactly what flavours a wine will develop as it ages. But what is known is that as the compounds in wine react over time, they create new flavours, changing the original product into something more complex and subtle. A correctly aged Pinot Noir can gain aromas of truffles; a Syrah can become fragrant with rich spices. It is theorized that grapes evolved aromatic compounds as a means to entice pollinating insects, it’s lucky for us that they did, for without the primary aromas from the grapes, the chemical reactions that take place during aging would have no materials to work on, and we’d never end up with tertiary flavours like leather, earth, and nuts that give a properly aged wine its complexityNo matter how you store your wine or how long you keep it after opening, bad wines are simply bad wines. You can’t make them better by aging them.Please continue*Today we have wine storage units built into our kitchens but your homeis usually heated to 70 plus F, that’s too warm for even red wines. These storage spaces are okay for a short time, a day or two. You are better off to store the wine in a cool dark place like under the stairs or basement.Please seeYour Wine RackPlace your banner hereWine,Food, Health and YouTwitterDescribe a wine by any term you wish but what counts is how fast you empty the bottle. The desire to drink more tells you how good the wine is.Wineries of CanadaHome|Site Map|Gallery|Contact Us |NEW|©2020 Robert A Bell|
Your Cheat Sheet to Serving Wine
When it comes to throwing a good dinner party, how you serve your wine is just as important as what you offer. Too many individuals serve wine at the incorrect temperature, or worse, in plastic glasses, so spoiling the sumptuous tastes and fragrances of the beverage. Get ready to level up your entertainment game. Serve your bottlings at the right temperature and in the proper stemware to maximize their flavor. Here’s all you need to know about the process.
Sparkling Wines (Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Sekt, etc.)
Chilling is beneficial for bubblies. Keeping them between 41 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit helps to retain the effervescence of the bottle, bringing out the fresh citrus flavors and acidity of the wine. When serving vintage Champagnes, serve them somewhat warmer (45–50°F) to bring out the toasty and biscuit flavors. Storage time in the refrigerator: up to two hours before serving Champagne Stemware Suggestions: The tall, thin flute is meant to bring out the delicate, yeasty fragrance of Champagne, concentrate its creamy textures, and keep its effervescence intact.
Light, Dry Whites (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Riesling, etc.)
Serve at 45–49 degrees Fahrenheit. Tip: The lighter the color and style of the wine, the cooler it should be served in order to preserve its acidity and freshness. Time in the refrigerator: 112 hours Sign up for Wine Enthusiast’s newsletters today. Subscribe to receive the latest news, reviews, recipes, and gear sent directly to your inbox. Thank you very much! Please check your email inbox as soon as possible because you will soon begin receiving unique deals and news from Wine Enthusiast. Policy Regarding Personal Information Stemware Tip: The flowery and fruity scents of the wine are captured and distributed by the stemmed glass with a U-shaped bowl.
The rim leads the wine to the front of the palate, where it balances acidity and fruit, and the narrow aperture helps to keep the wine colder as it travels down the throat.
This wine is ideally served somewhat warmer than light whites, between 48 to 53°F, due to the complexity of the fruit notes and the gentle tannins. Because rosés may be made from a variety of grapes with a variety of characteristics, the same rule that applies to light, dry whites applies: the lighter the color and style of the wine, the more cold it should be when served. Time in the refrigerator: up to 112 hoursStemware For mature, full-bodied rosés, a stemmed glass with a bowl that is gently tapered at the top is the finest choice.
The sweetness is directed to the tip of the tongue, where the taste receptors are the most sensitive, via the lip.
Full-Bodied Whites (Chardonnay, Albariño, Trebbiano, Viognier and Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc, etc.)
Serving these nuanced whites at 50–55°F brings out their layered aromatic qualities and luscious tastes to their fullest potential. Tip: The wine should be served at a temperature of 50°F or lower if it is less oaky. White Burgundy and well-aged Viogner should be served at a temperature of 55°F or above. 1 hour in the refrigerator Stemware Using the typical Chardonnay glass, which has a stemmed bowl and broad rim, the acidity and powerful flavors are distributed equally to the back of the tongue and sides of the tongue.
Light- to Medium-Bodied Reds (Beaujolais, Valpolicella, Chianti, Dolcetto, Côtes du Rhône, Pinot Noir, Nero d’Avola, etc.)
The rich aromas and flavors of these red wines are most accentuated when served between 54–60°F. If the wine is served too warm, the exquisite fruit notes will become harsh and acidic, and the wine will become overbearing. Time in the refrigerator: 45–60 minutes Stemware A Chianti-style glass with a little tapered rim, stemmed with a slightly tapered rim, is the finest glass to use for light-bodied wines that are fruit and mineral forward, with a lively acidity. An oversized Pinot Noir glass with a broader bowl is ideal for more complex, medium-bodied wines with delicate characteristics.
Full-Bodied Reds (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah/Shiraz, Merlot, Tempranillo, Malbec, etc.)
There’s a common notion that large reds should be served at a temperature of roughly 70°F, which permits the alcohol to dominate the taste profile. Serve full-bodied wines at 60–65°F to reveal a luscious mouthfeel, well-rounded tannins, and well-balanced acidity when they are served at the right temperature. Time in the refrigerator: 25 minutes Drinking Glasses Suggestion: Big, robust wines require large-bowled glasses with a lot of surface area. Because of this, the wines’ high acidity, intense fruit and oak flavors, and high alcohol content can all breathe and rest in appropriate balance.
Fortified Wines (Port, Sherry, Madeira, etc.)
Once again, the lighter the color and design of the dish, the colder it should be served at room temperature. The optimal temperature for delicate tawny Ports and fino Sherries is 57–60°F, while the best temperature for Madeiras and vintage Ports is 66°F, which brings out their dark, complex characteristics. Keep it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes for the bolder choices and up to 45 minutes for the milder versions. Stemware Tip: Because fortified wines have greater alcohol concentrations than still or sparkling wines, short stems and small bowls are recommended for serving them.
The tight, brief opening reduces the astringency of the alcohol while accentuating the sweetness and delicate subtleties on both the scent and the taste.
Keep in Mind
The time in the fridge indicates a starting temperature of around 72°F, which is the same as room temperature. To cool wine, if your bottles are being kept in a cellar or wine refrigerator, allow them to sit for 30 minutes before serving. Serve the whites as soon as possible. Allow another 30 minutes for your reds to get to room temperature before serving. To cool wines that have been sitting on a rack, fill a bucket halfway with ice and water and fill the remainder halfway with water. Prior to serving, white wines should be refrigerated for 20 minutes and red wines should be cooled for 10 minutes before being served.
The tannins in the young wines will soften over time, allowing the secondary characteristics to show through.
Proper Wine Storage Tips
Whether you’re storing a range of wines for your restaurant or searching for long-term wine storage recommendations, there are a few things to keep in mind at all times. Take into account essential aspects such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to air or light while making your decision. Additionally, it’s critical to understand the optimum wine storage temperature for reds, whites, and everything in between when it comes to wine storage. Keep in mind that if your restaurant does not have a certified sommelier, you should follow the recommendations below to get the most out of your wine inventory.
How to Store Wine
While wine storage isn’t difficult, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your wine tastes exactly the way it should when it’s served.
1. Store Bottles Horizontally
As most people are aware, wine bottles are normally stored horizontally in wine racks or coolers with the label facing up, as opposed to vertically in a wine cellar. While this is essential for bottles with natural corks, putting bottles horizontally with non-natural corks such as rubber, plastic, or metal is not only permissible, but it may also be a space-saving alternative for smaller establishments such as bars and restaurants.
Why Is Wine Stored on Its Side?
Wine is kept on its side so that the liquid may remain in consistent contact with the cork during the storage process. This ensures that the cork remains wet, preventing it from shrinking or shattering, which would enable air to enter through the bottle opening. Allowing air to enter the bottle can result in premature oxidation, which will have a detrimental influence on the flavor of the wine.
2. Store Wine at the Proper Temperature
Try to keep the temperature of the air about 55 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re storing both red and white wine in the same location. Despite the fact that a few degrees above or below normal won’t hurt much, temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit might cause wine to mature more quickly than is desirable. Even higher temperatures can “cook” your wine, resulting in a loss of taste and fragrance as a result. As an alternative, keeping wine in an environment that is overly cold, such as a normal refrigerator or walk-in cooler, might cause the wine to lose its inherent aromas and characteristics.
Excessive heat, or even cold, exposure to your bottles might cause the product to get ruined. Maintaining proper wine storage temps will help you keep your wine fresh for years to come and prevent your wine from aging too rapidly.
3. Keep the Temperature Steady
When storing wine bottles, it is important to maintain a uniform temperature throughout the storage space. Even more crucial than the precise temperature at which you keep your wine is the constancy of the temperatures you maintain. The liquids contained within the container may expand and shrink as a result of drastic temperature fluctuations. Over time, the expansion and contraction of the bottle might cause the cork to shift out of place, resulting in premature oxidation.
4. Pay Attention to the Humidity
Humidity levels can have an impact on both the wine and the label, so it’s important to keep them between 50 and 80 percent when storing wine. Humidity levels can affect both the wine and the label. Keep an eye on the humidity level if you’re serious about keeping your bottles in pristine condition—including the labels. In addition, keeping your wine in a moderately humid environment will help to ensure that the cork remains moist enough to keep out the air. On the other hand, keeping the ambient air too humid will cause damage to the label on the bottles of your wine over time.
This will ruin the outside of your bottle.
5. Limit Light Exposure
Light in general, and especially ultraviolet (UV) radiation, can prematurely age your wine in a manner similar to that of air exposure and high temperatures. Most bottles are made of tinted glass to assist prevent this from happening. When storing bottles, keep them in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and bright fluorescent lights to ensure they last as long as possible.
6. Avoid Movement and Vibrations
When your wine is in storage, vibrations from heavy kitchen equipment and cooling machines might really hurt it. In general, you should avoid storing bottles near such equipment and shaking your wine by hand as much as possible. These kind of motions can actually accelerate the chemical changes that lead wine to mature more quickly than it otherwise would.
7. Track How Long Your Wine Stays in Storage
While it’s true that excellent wine improves with age, the odds are that whatever you’re preserving shouldn’t be kept for an extended period of time. The majority of new world wines, as well as lower-priced bottles, should be drank within a few years of purchase in most cases. Furthermore, wine that has been sitting in your restaurant for an extended period of time is not beneficial to your bottom line.
Does Wine Go Bad?
In general, red wine should be served between 2 to 10 years following the vintage date, depending on the variety. White wine is best drank within 2 to 3 years of its vintage. Fine wines are being produced at an increasing rate, but there are just a handful of them on the market that may benefit from being matured for a decade or more.
How to Store Wine After Opening
Keeping white wine once it has been opened in a cold, dark area such as a refrigerator, wine cellar, or closet is recommended. It is recommended that you consume it within 3 to 5 days of opening it. Red wine does not need to be stored in a chilly environment, but it should be kept in a dark or poorly lighted environment.
Even while most red wines have a shelf life of 3 to 5 days, some of the more acidic reds can survive for up to 10 days. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while keeping wine that has been opened:
- Recork the bottle as tightly as possible to ensure that it is not exposed to air. Transfer the remaining wine to a smaller bottle in order to limit the quantity of surplus air in the bottle
- Keep away from direct sunlight and heat
- If the original cork is not accessible, a wine stopper can be used to close the top.
Wine Storage Temperatures
The best temperature for storing wine is 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). But the ideal temperature for different varieties of wine might differ. When it comes to white wine storage, the following temperatures are recommended:
- Light bodied or sweet: 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Full bodied: 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit
- Sparkling: 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit
The temperature ranges from 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit for sparkling wines; 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for light bodied or sweet wines; 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for full bodied wines.
- 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for light body
- 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for medium body
- 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit for full body
Here’s a chart to assist you in keeping track of the proper wine storage temperature for each variety of wine you own:
Where to Store Wine
When you examine all of the factors listed above, it should come as no surprise that the location in which you keep your wine can have a significant influence on the quality of the glass you give your clients. In your search for the best place to store wine, avoid the following locations at all costs:
- When it comes to wine storage, kitchens are frequently overly hot and well-lit. Areas with a lot of traffic: Maintain a safe distance between bottles and entrances or closets that are regularly in use. When you store wine in this location, you increase the likelihood of temperature fluctuations and movement. Wine bottles should never be kept near windows because direct sunshine might damage the bottles. Avoid storing your wine bottles near strong-smelling substances such as herbs and garlic, which can cause corrosion. The wine can take up on such characteristics and change the flavor profile.
When it comes to keeping wine in a commercial kitchen, wine shelving units or wine coolers are the finest options available.
Wine Shelving Units
Using these units to store wine in a professional environment is the most cost-effective approach available today. However, they will only function properly if they are placed in an appropriate location. Store your wine shelf units in a location that fits the requirements for temperature, humidity, and light as outlined in the previous section. Wine racks and storage cabinets are an excellent choice because they do not require power or refrigeration, allowing you to save money on energy costs.
Wine Coolers / Merchandisers
While normal refrigerators are frequently too cold to safely store your bottles of wine, wine coolers are specifically intended to keep your bottles of wine at the proper temperature. Some cabinets even contain numerous zones, allowing for the storage of a variety of different types of wine in the same cabinet. Some coolers are also intended for the storage and distribution of wine. In your wine store, merchandisers are designed to display the goods to customers while also maintaining the proper temperature.
Heavy Duty Wine Refrigerators
Wine coolers are particularly well suited for usage in premium restaurants that offer large quantities of wine. These huge refrigerators have the capacity to store up to 200 bottles of wine at the proper serving temperature for entertaining. Evaluate the available space in your restaurant to identify the most appropriate location for your wine collection. By paying strict attention to the temperature, humidity level, and light exposure, you can ensure that you produce high-quality wine that your visitors will enjoy.
Serving Temperature for Wine – Grape to Glass
The temperature at which a wine is served may have a significant impact on the aromatics, taste, and overall pleasure of a wine. Serving a wine cool can assist to disguise the defects that can be found in young or inexpensive wines, but serving a wine warmer can enable the bouquet and complexity found in a wine to be expressed, which is great for older or full-bodied wines with a lot of body and flavor. Lower temperatures also have the added benefit of reducing the ‘bite’ that alcohol may provide to lighter-bodied wines.
- If that’s the case, the flavor was most likely dominated by dry oak and the fruit was absent.
- (Here are some general guidelines.) Temperature Guidelines for Serving Wine:°C – Wine Style: 19° – Brandy, Cognac, etc.
- The 17th degree is reserved for Syrah/Shiraz and Chianti Classico.
- Amontillado Sherry (number 14) Oloroso Sherry, * (Oloroso Sherry) Aged Tawny Ports are a lighter kind of port.
- – Chardonnay that has been aged in oak The following wines are recommended for 8°-10°: Rosé, light-medium-bodied white wines (Pinot Gris, Viognier.
- It is necessary to serve wine at the proper temperature in order to fully appreciate the varietal scent, flavor, and character of the grape variety.
- An ice bucket half-filled with ice and water can do the work in around 30 minutes if you need it to cool down faster than normal (NB: to aid in the speed of chilling, place the bottle upside down, neck first into the ice-bucket).
Your rich, full-bodied red wines should be served at 18°C, at the very least.
Standing a bottle of red wine at room temperature for one to two hours, away from hot ovens, heaters, and direct sunshine, will be enough to warm it up to the desired temperature.
(I am not a fan of using the microwave, especially given that most wines have a metal screw-cap closing.) NB: When decanting wine, keep an eye on the temperature of the surrounding air throughout the breathing period.
Those in the know agree that serving white wine at too low a temperature is equivalent to placing a filter over the top of your wine.
Furthermore, when the temperature is really low, it is similar to offering alcoholic water.
Although it is difficult to have any impact on the temperature of wine served at a café or restaurant, there are several easy things that we may do at home to enhance our enjoyment of wine.
This is way too chilly for any of your favorite white wines at this time of year.
The fact that your white wine is quite chilly and below the optimal serving temperature of 8oC – 10oC for the majority of quality white wines is normally (unless in extremely humid situations) a very positive indication that it is very excellent quality.
When serving excellent Champagne and diverse white wines, particularly when serving quality oaked white wines, it is advisable to keep the temperature between 8oC and 10oC.
Some richer, fuller style barrel fermented Chardonnays, for example, are best served directly from the cellar, where temperatures can drop as low as 13o Celsius.
It will be good to leave it in the primary house refrigerator for 45-60 minutes (depending on the beginning temperature).
It’s very uncommon while dining out to be offered a bottle of white wine that’s been sitting on the table for a long time and has developed a thick film of condensation on the sides.
For example, if you are outside in a particularly hot area, you can ask for a bucket that is just 2-3 cm deep and has a tiny bit of cool water for the wine to sit in so that it maintains the proper temperature (note: the front label, should not be under the level of ice and water).
Though it should be noted that it is far easier to bring your extra-cold white wine back up to a more palatable drinking temperature than the reverse.
But what if you’re having friends around and you’ve neglected to freeze the white wines by mistake?
To be clear, do not lay them bottom-first; doing so will result in a roughly two-fold increase in time required to chill them down to the optimal drinking temperature.
Because of this rapid chilling, certain more straightforward sparkling wines can be served at 6 – 7 degrees Celsius.
The temperature range of 7 – 8oC might be appropriate for some dessert wines since the amount of sweetness is increased at higher temps.
While crisp white wines with naturally high levels of acidity and elevated citrus flavors may be served and enjoyed at the cooler end of the spectrum (towards 7 – 9oC), richer, more full-bodied white wines can be served and enjoyed at the warmer end of the spectrum (towards 10 – 12oC).
For example, the temperature of a solution within a white wine has a significant impact on the impression of sweetness in that solution – (e.g.
The white wine in your home refrigerator has been sitting there for a few days or longer, it is time to drink it.
Choosing the appropriate serving temperature for a specific red wine while pouring and finally enjoying the wine is not necessarily a personal decision.
Many individuals unintentionally and unknowingly consume red wines at too high a temperature.
When it comes to red wines, you normally prefer them to be served at a warmer temperature than the cellar or wine cabinet temperature.
Also bear in mind that a chilled wine will warm up in your glass, but a warm wine will only warm up in your glass.
Generally speaking, lighter and more lifted fruit type red wines (for example, Beaujolais and lighter style Pinot Noirs) should be served at the lower end of the price spectrum.
When you hear or use the old saying (adage) – red wine is best served at room temperature – you should take note.
Today, many home dining rooms may easily reach temperatures of approximately 23°C – and as the temperature rises beyond 25°C, red wine begins to lose its elegance and freshness, and moves closer to an overpowering sense of alcohol.
Depending on the beginning temperature, but starting at 25°C, you may expect to work for 15-20 minutes – (note: I would not suggest the freezer, as accidents can happen when forgotten).
If you are unsure about the temperature of the wine, it is always preferable to serve your reds slightly chilled, since you can easily reheat the glass in the palm of your hand if the wine becomes too cold.
Don’t feel awful if you often purchase a bottle of red wine on your way home and open it with friends or family right soon – many wine drinkers have been doing this for the majority of their wine drinking careers.
If you serve red grape varietals and styles of wine at their optimal serving temperatures, the wine will be more aromatic, the fruit and palate flavors will be bright and fresh, the wine’s texture will be full and engaging, and the wine will appear balanced – as all of the components in a light, medium or full-bodied style wine will be in harmony – and the wine will appear in balance.
The opposite is true: serving red wine at a temperature that is too cold restricts the smells and flavors to the point where the tannins in the wine become overbearing.
Being unable to appreciate your favorite red wine because it was served at the incorrect temperature is such a waste – especially when you’ve spent a lot of money on a high-quality wine and are unable to do so because it was delivered at the incorrect temperature.
The ideal temperature at which to drink red wine will always be determined by the type of red wine being consumed.
A wine with higher tannin content should be served at a slightly warmer temperature (for example, 16-18°C).
Wines with less tannins, on the other hand, should be served somewhat colder since there is less chance that the tannins may become overbearing when served warm.
Furthermore, by serving the wine at a slightly lower temperature, you can more fully appreciate the wine’s subtle and delicate flavors and aromas that come with it.