Wine & Weather: Serving Wine in the summer!
For Pete’s sake put an ice cube in it! If you want it that way! No snobbery at this end!
I don’t have to tell you in these sweltering days of summer not to serve your Chardonnay at 95°F, unless you really want to. But I can give you some basic guidelines for suggested serving temperatures.
It’s warm out these days, so do not hesitate to chill down your wine more than usual. Hot days can remove the chill in your wine faster than usual when enjoying them outdoors. I firmly believe in learning about wine as much as possible to better learn how to enjoy it, but along the road to ‘wine wisdom’, consume it at a temperature that YOU enjoy. If you prefer your Chardonnay at cellar temperature (60°F-65°F), as do I, then so be it. Just remember the suggested serving temperatures are just that; suggestions or guidelines for bringing out the best characteristics of specific wines.
For example, Sauvignon Blanc is all about the acidity, crispness and refreshing characteristics which are highlighted or brought out more when chilled. Lighter bodied reds such as Gamay and Pinot Noir, can have its fruity characteristics brought out by a slight chilling as well; but, if too cold it can taste a little insipid or acidic. If heavy reds are too warm then they become “hot”, where the alcohol becomes dominate and overwhelms the smell of the wine. Just remember with reds, room temperature is about 60°-65°F which is what room temperature was in European homes 200 years ago.
The last time I checked there was nothing carved in stone saying “thou shalt not imbibe thy wine unless at the suggested temperature”. So consume the wine you like at the temperature you enjoy.
Give this a try
Try this little experiment if you will. Taste the same wine side by side but at different serving temperatures. Pour one glass and leave it at outside temperature. Pour another glass after you’ve chilled the bottle and then pour another glass from the same bottle and put an ice cube in the wine. See which you prefer and I will wager that you will prefer one serving temperature over the others. As food, music, surrounding company and even mood affect how you enjoy wine, so does the serving temperature as well.