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Riedel Serving Temperatures

RIEDEL SERVING TEMPERATURES

As the final blog in our new partner series ‘Getting Geeky with Riedel’ it only seems right to explore one outside influence that many wine aficionados feel affects the flavour of wine, but has been long-disputed: Serving temperature. Can supping your wine too warm or too cool make or break a bottle? Here, we offer you a concise guide.

MEDIUM & FULL RED WINE

It is a common misconception that a ‘room temperature’ rule should be adhered to when serving a weighty red, but in truth what exactly is room temperature? Naturally, this can vary wildly depending on where in the world you are and what time of year it is, so relying on atmospheric gauges to give you the ideal serving temperature is not the way to go.

High tannin, full-bodied reds appreciate a warmer serving temperature of 17 – 21 degrees C to allow its personality to fully emerge and avoid a good vino tasting very strongly of just alcohol. Anything over 25 C will start to cook the wine and give it that raisin taste that mulled wine presents.

Light red wines on the other hand do better with a slightly cooler temperature, as the chill factor helps to embrace higher acidity and fresh, fruity aromas for a refreshing summer tipple. Go for 12 – 17 degrees C for this type of wine to showcase its characteristics best.

WHITE WINE

As a general rule, whites are best served at a bracing 7 – 14 degrees C to allow delicate flavours to shine. Anything above this will mask subtle nuances that really make a fabulous white, so be sure to pop a bottle of white in the fridge 2 – 3 hours before pouring.

Just to mix things up a bit though, it is worth noting that very sweet white wines and dessert wines do benefit from temperatures just a tad warmer. Go for around 13 degrees in these cases, to really allow the syrupy nectar flavours and aromas to emerge.

Sparkling Wine
Most sparkling wines do well at a very cold serving temperature of around 7 or 8 degrees C, to avoid the alcohol notes becoming the main event. But when drinking very fine Champagne you can stand to go a little higher (up to even the lofty heights of 10 – 12 degrees C) to allow the diverse range of aromas to come forward.

SPARKLING WINE

Most sparkling wines do well at a very cold serving temperature of around 7 or 8 degrees C, to avoid the alcohol notes becoming the main event. But when drinking very fine Champagne you can stand to go a little higher (up to even the lofty heights of 10 – 12 degrees C) to allow the diverse range of aromas to come forward.

YOUR GLASS MATTERS!

Stemware experts at Riedel know that the glass you choose to drink your wine from makes an enormous difference to the overall experience, and they’re not alone. According to a 2016 study performed by the Tokyo Medical and Dentistry University, the geometry of a glass influences wine by controlling the way vapour leaves the fluid.

SO, WHICH GLASS SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

The Riedel range has a vast selection to choose from, and each collection is varietal specific meaning that the hard work has been done for you! But you may be wondering what it is about these glasses that enhance your wine drinking experience.

Frankly, there’s an awful lot to it. 100s of years worth of trying, testing and crafting with a passion, to create the optimal receptacle, in fact. But one thing that lies at the core of every design is the oxidisation process. White wines should always have their oxygen exposure limited, so these are best enjoyed in tall glasses with a smaller bowl which will help keep the wine cooler for longer and also preserve and enhance delicate notes. Red wines tend to be fuller in flavour and complex aromas and actually do better when given some time to breathe. This is why using a white wine glass for a red wine will have a negative impact – red wine wants oxygen to develop, and using stemware which closes this off stops it in its tracks.

If you haven’t stocked up on the appropriate Riedel stemware for your red wine’s oxidising needs, decanting the bottle 30 – 40 minutes before serving will make a world of difference.

WHAT ABOUT SPARKLING WINES?

No-one likes a flat fizz. In fact, allowing your sparkling wines to still will change the flavour entirely, so the key here is to use a glass that prevents those bubbles from dissipating. Tall, narrow glasses will do this, thanks to a smaller surface area.


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