Monday, October 5, 2009

Wine Temperatures

One of the questions that I continually get asked is "How should I store my wine", followed by "what temperature should I serve my wine". I wanted to address these pretty simple questions as it is a Monday morning, and my head is still a bit foggy.
When storing your wine, it is important to consider what you are storing it for. If you are just buying wine to drink sometime in the next month or so, any old wine rack will do great. Don't set it near a heat source in your house (including the top of your refrigerator), or in the sunlight, and you will be fine. If you are keeping white wine, I wouldn't suggest leaving it in your refrigerator for storage- the corks tend to dry out. This is especially true for bubbly wine, as the slight vibrations in the fridge will eventually make the wine go flat. For storage of a month to about a year, one of those small wine fridges works well. Again, they vibrate, which can damage the wine over a long time. For anything longer than several months, I would suggest a wine rack in an area that is fairly dry, dark, and around 55 or 60 degrees. You know what works great? That's right...your basement. Lay the wines on their side, so the corks don't dry, and it should do fine.
Now on to serving temperatures. Most Americans serve their white wines too cold, and their red wines too hot. I don't know where I heard it, but I like the "rule of 30". Basically, take your white wines out of your fridge 30 minutes before serving them, and put your red wines in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving them. Most whites should be served between 50-55 degrees, and reds from 60-65. Dont freak out about it, though- I've seen people with thermometers trying to make it an exact science. This is unnecessary. Drink sparkling wine as cold as possible- otherwise it will foam out of the bottle when you open it.

Well, that was easy.

Last night I drank a glass of 2007 Decendientes de Jose Palacios Petalos, from Bierzo, Spain. Made from Mencia, this little gem was delicious with its leather, earth, and dried cherry notes.

Cheers, and have a great week!

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