Wine Temperature: we can even ask for a cool glass of red wine in summer!
Summer is coming and the weather is becoming increasingly hotter, therefore we can dispel some myths and shamelessly ask for an iced bottle of red wine!
Drinking wine at the right temperature is not only a refinery for connoisseurs, but a rule useful for everybody: connoisseurs, wine lovers and beginners.
The temperature can bring out the positive features of wine or let us perceive unreal defects.
What happens with too low temperatures?
If the wine temperature is too low, when we bring the glass to the nose, we realise that the olfactory notes cannot be expressed in the best way. The scents come from chemical components called “volatiles” and are conveyed by the wine alcohol; if the temperature is low, volatile components and alcohol are inhibited and therefore less perceivable to the nose. As regards taste, the astringent tannic component could hit the palate
But why we drink cool white wine and sparkling wines?
Indeed, these two wines should not have a tannic and astringent component, but a pleasurable acidity: therefore, cold helps and enhances the delicate aromas and the typical acidity of white wine. Moreover, in sparkling wines the bubbles of CO2 are not aggressive in the mouth, but well dissolved, thus giving a sensation of pleasing effervescence or froth, depending on the type.
What happens with high temperatures?
As far as too high temperatures are concerned, we have a diametrically opposite effect.
Bringing the glass to the nose, the alcohol is invasive, almost unpleasant. Acidity goes down and the sweet notes of sugars and glycols fill the mouse, so that the wine seems flat and soft.
So far, we have talked about limit cases and excesses, but what are the most correct temperatures for the various types of products?
What are the right temperatures?
The best choice is serving sparkling or bubbly wines at 6-8°C depending on the type: the more the wine is complex and mature, the higher will be the service temperature.
As regards red wines, the range can be widened; we can appreciate a vintage red at 16-18°C, but a red wine aged of more than 10 years in the bottle needs temperatures lower than 20°C.
All that does not mean that we must use a thermometer each time, but only that a sparkling wine must be drunk as soon as taken from a standard refrigerator, whilst a white wine needs twenty or thirty minutes at room temperature before being appreciated at its best.
But above all, do not be afraid to ask the restaurant for cool red wine : remember that the room temperature is that of the wine cellar of about16-18oC and not that of hot summer nights!
bySilvia Cirri e Linda Franceschi