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Serving red wines--help with temperatures


C_Ruark
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I need help...

When it comes to wines... while I can appreciate a Graves, Merlot, Zweigelt, or the tasty but can't-afford-to-regularly-stock Barolo ( :wub: )... I have never thought about what certain labels would taste like if they were served slightly cooler. So... (cringing in prep for backlash)...

What's a reasonable service temp for a red?

When I am having a glass, noticably cooler than room temperature is ideal but not so cool that as I sip (or guzzle at some key moments) my mouth chills like it would drinking a white.

Thanks and best regards,

CSR

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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Every wine class I teach contains the line "Most Americans drink their Whites too cold and their Reds too warm" and "Room Temperature means little unless you define the room: A London flat in January's "room temp" and a Dallas Dining Room in August are TWO very different temps."

Red wine is best served at a "cool room" temp, closer to London in January...the lighter the red, the chillier it can handle.

Beaujolais is really best almost cold, about 55 deg. Pinot Noir/Burgundy say closer to 60/62 (a slight chill).

Anything heavier, to me should be served with the bottle cool to the touch, but not "sweating cold"...Certainly any wine stored at normal US room temps of over 72 degrees should be chilled a little bit.

I caused a small stir when I wrote a local article entitled "Waiter, CHILL that RED wine a while"...but I've said that exactly many times out.

Cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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Every wine class I teach contains the line "Most Americans drink their Whites too cold and their Reds too warm" and "Room Temperature means little unless you define the room: A London flat in January's "room temp" and a Dallas Dining Room in August are TWO very different temps."

Red wine is best served at a "cool room" temp, closer to London in January...the lighter the red, the chillier it can handle.

Beaujolais is really best almost cold, about 55 deg. Pinot Noir/Burgundy say closer to 60/62 (a slight chill).

Anything heavier, to me should be served with the bottle cool to the touch, but not "sweating cold"...Certainly any wine stored at normal US room temps of over 72 degrees should be chilled a little bit.

I caused a small stir when I wrote a local article entitled "Waiter, CHILL that RED wine a while"...but I've said that exactly many times out.

Cheers,

Rob

Thanks for the learned advice Rob.... I'll have a go drinking one of my Merlots chilled to ~65 deg.

Regards from DC!

CSR

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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Red wine is best served at a "cool room" temp, closer to London in January...the lighter the red, the chillier it can handle.

Beaujolais is really best almost cold, about 55 deg. Pinot Noir/Burgundy say closer to 60/62 (a slight chill).

Anything heavier, to me should be served with the bottle cool to the touch, but not "sweating cold"...Certainly any wine stored at normal US room temps of over 72 degrees should be chilled a little bit.

I caused a small stir when I wrote a local article entitled "Waiter, CHILL that RED wine a while"...but I've said that exactly many times out.

I realize the "every room is different" problem applies here, but are there any rules of thumb for how long a bottle should spend in the fridge to cool down? It would be great to know that if the air temperature is 70F, it'll take X minutes to come down to a good temperature for drinking, but if the air temperature is 80F, it'll take Y minutes.

"The dinner table is the center for the teaching and practicing not just of table manners but of conversation, consideration, tolerance, family feeling, and just about all the other accomplishments of polite society except the minuet." - Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

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For Lexica,

I wish I could give a good "rule" of x minutes for y degrees, but alot depends on where the fridge temp is set...

My "rule of thumb" is start with fifteen minutes and then "touch" the bottle. then go by ten minute intervals from there. Bearing in mind the warmer the bottle, the longer the chill. I don't bother with a thermometer (Im with Craig C - shoot me if I start to use one). Bottle cool to the touch, but not cold probably 65. Cold to the touch probably 55. Chilly and sweating in the room, 45-50.

You get used to it pretty quickly and soon discover how long and what the "feel" is for the chill you like on the wine.

Cheers,

Rob

"When I lived in Paris, and champagne was relatively cheap, I always enjoyed a half-bottle in the middle of the morning and another half-bottle at six or so in the evening. It did me a tremendous amount of good." - Gerald Hamilton.
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"Room Temperature means little unless you define the room: A London flat in January's "room temp" and a Dallas Dining Room in August are TWO very different temps."

The perceived wisdom of "red wine at room temperature" was developed sometime either in the late 19th or early 20th century, probably in the UK when the room temperature would struggle to reach 60 deg, especially away from the fireplace. With the advent of central heating the average room temperature has risen by around 10 deg but the old phrase hangs around and does no justice to a decent red. In an ideal world you would store your wine at around 55 so that reds come up to serving temperature in the room reasonably quickly and whites just need a short while in the refrigerator.

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... In an ideal world you would store your wine at around 55 so that reds come up to serving temperature in the room reasonably quickly and whites just need a short while in the refrigerator.

Cheers for the info...

CSR

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com
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