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October 16, 2020 2 min read

This is a question we get asked on a regular basis, especially with reds. In this week’s blog we’re exploring how temperature effects wine from the cellar to the glass.

What difference does it make?

Temperature makes a huge difference to the way a wine tastes and how well it keeps. On the storage side if wine is stored too cold for too long corks can harden, too hot and the wine will become more tannic, astringent and tangy.

How should my wine be stored?

Carefully is the short answer. If you’re looking long term then a constant, cool temperature is VITAL.

Despite this we’d definitely advise NOT storing the wine in the fridge long term. This is because, as we mentioned before, the corks can harden and crack causing the seal to fail.

Anything with a cork should be stored lying down so bear that in mind when buying a rack. This keeps the cork moist and the seal in tact.

Wine racks in the kitchen are a terrible idea too. Temperatures in kitchens are anything but constant and this is bad for your vino.

Finally, avoid vibrations and strong light. Light will heat the wine and vibrations will agitate any sediment which will cause problems with the liquid.

So what temperature should my wine be when I drink it?

Not as cold as you think. Over-chilling wine will mask many of the flavours.

Sweet and sparkling wines should be served between 6 and 10 degrees. This keeps the refreshing sharpness and acidity of things like Champagne and Sauternes in balance with the rest of the flavour profile.

Light and medium bodied whites are similar in this respect. 7 to 10 degrees C will be ideal.

As oak is added to whites, or when they become more full bodied, there are more flavours to appreciate. At 10 to 13 degrees things like White Burgundies and Fumé Blancs will open up nicely.

Light reds are great at the top end of this scale. Between 13 and 15 degrees you’ll get the best out of the likes of Beaujolais and Valpolicella.

The more full bodied reds, however, do require a warmer temperature. Not too warm though as they’ll start to taste muddy and lose their fruit. 15 to 18 degrees is best as far as things like Claret, Rioja, Australian Shiraz and Chateaneuf-du-Pape are concerned.

Keep your #winequestions coming and we’ll be happy to answer them. Hit us up in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter.

Ben Cleary
Ben Cleary

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