Wine Myths: Always Serve Reds at Room Temperature….one more wine myth to kick to the curb this summer
Though especially welcome in summertime, and especially tasty with regards to Pinot Noir, I break this “rule” year round and with many varietals to boot. In the depths of December you can still find me putting a slight chill on many reds, from a sassy Beaujolais Nouveau with at Thanksgiving up to some big and burly Syrah’s on Valentine’s Day. I just like my reds served a little cool and find that I prefer around 50-58 F or so, far below “room temperature”.
Summertime, however, is when I’m most likely to put a red on ice. “Room temp” in our 1898 Victorian house in Napa doesn’t mean 68F like it does in November and as ambient temperatures rise, my tolerance for the more volatile components in red wines
(i.e. alcohol, aldehydes, and volatile acidity) goes down. I find it hard to appreciate a red wine when it’s so warm even its modest 13.80% alcohol hits me like a ton of grapes.
Solution? Use a tabletop wine cooler, an ice bucket, one of those new stick-it-in-the-bottle gadgets like the corkcicle™ or just simply stick the bottle in the fridge for 30 minutes. A slight chill can focus aroma, tame the perception of alcohol and can make a red seem more refreshing, especially when the weather heats up.