Part of the wine discovery experience is understanding the importance of wine drinking temperature. Most people serve their wine without really thinking about the temperature of it, which can have a huge affect on the experience. Red is often served straight from the shelf or storage area at room temperature, and white is typically served completely cold straight from the fridge.
Unfortunately, just as you wouldn't enjoy a lukewarm cup of tea compared to a hot one, it is a lot more enjoyable to drink wine at the right temperature. While it is true that red wine should be served at a warmer than white wine, it should not be served at room temperature. And although white wine is delicious when it is chilled, it shouldn't be consumed too cold.
Why is Temperature so Important?
Wine experts believe the serving wine at the right temperature does more for your wine than the shape of your glass or letting it breathe. If red wine is too warm for example the alcohol dominates and masks the subtle flavours of the wine. Chill a wine too much and the flavours are not released, the tannins become harsher and the acids too sharp. However, if a wine is lightly chilled to its ideal temperature reveals its delicious flavours, just as the winemaker intended.
The Myth of ‘Room Temperature’
Red wine should be served at room temperature shouldn't it? Well actually the idea of drinking wine at room temperature, or ‘Au chamber’ as they say in france, comes from the chilly drawing rooms of medieval stone clad French castles. To the contrary, whilst the Australian climate is great for wine making, it is not the best for wine drinking, as the average room temperature in Australia is a very warm 23 degrees.
What is the Optimum Drinking Temperature For My Wine?
It isnt as simple as 1 temperature fits all, as each varietal has its own perfect drinking temperature. Full bodied red wines such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon should be served between 16 - 18 degrees, while lighter bodied reds like Pinot Noir should be served at a cooler 12-14 degrees. Aromatic whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris are best enjoyed when lightly chilled to 6-8 degrees.