Wine myths: serving temperature and wine age

Wine myths: serving temperature and wine age

When you are at the beginning in the world of wine you learn all kinds of things about wine. Is all the information that reaches you true? In most cases you don't know where to start or you are afraid to ask.

Precisely for this reason, in the "About wine" section here in the Winesday App, you will find useful articles about wines in general and today we are talking about two of the most common myths related to wine. Untrue myths but which, somehow, are still believed today.

"Red wine is served at room temperature." It is the most common remark to which I have only one correct answer "red wine is served at room temperature of a cellar or castle, meaning at 15-18°C. If it's that cold in your house, I'm sorry to hear that! I hope it is not and that when you want to enjoy a red wine you will cool it so that it reaches a temperature of 15-18 °C. Recommendation: wines that were not kept in wood barrels are served at 15°C, and those that have matured in wooden barrels, at 17°-18°C."

If red wine is served at room temperature, let’s say 25°C, or worse, in summer,  at above 30°C, the wine will seem flat and you will not be able to enjoy the aromas and flavors.

As for the right serving temperature for each type of wine, this is:
     • sparkling wine/champagne: 6°-10°C
     • white/rose wines: 7° – 10°C
     • white wine (matured in wooden barrels): 10° - 13°C
     • red wine: 15° - 18°C
     • sweet wine (dessert): 6°- 8° C

"The older the wine, the better." It is wrong!

If that wine - say from the 1980 harvest - was not made with the intention of aging, nor was it stored in a horizontal position, protected from light and at the optimal temperature (constant temperature around 15°C), that wine may not be in good condition for drinking. So if you do not know under which conditions of temperature, humidity, in which position of the bottle and in which place of storage it was kept, it is very possible that the wine in question has lost its aromas over time or even turned into vinegar.

Yes, wines prepared to age exist, but not all wines are like that and the aging potential starts from the actual wine (usually the top range of the winery, a wine with a complex aromas and flavors, a wine that has either high alcohol, pronounced tannins, high acidity or residual sugar – all of which are responsible for the wine to evolve in the bottle for a long time), it continues with the winemaking techniques and maturation and ends with storage.

Most of the wines we find in stores are wines meant to be consumed in the next 2-3 years. Of course, among them we can also find wines that would be worth keeping for a few more years, especially the ones that have spent some time in wood, but it is very important to know which wines  are, if they have aging potential and how long the winery recommends to keep it and especially under what conditions. Because even a wine matured in wooden barrels can have a longer or shorter life and it deserves to be enjoyed at the maximum point where the wine expresses itself best. What this moment is we cannot always know exactly, but the winemaker or the sommelier, the one who presents the wine, can give you some estimates.

Carmina Nițescu
Winesday & Winesday App

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