What temperature should I serve my wine at?
We've all had those debates in the office about the aircon. Some are happier when it's warmer, while others work better with a chill and become sweaty monstrosities once any heat kicks in.
Wine is no different, and with grapes of (mostly) European descent, their juices suit the 'average' cooler climate - not necessarily the hotter temperatures we see here Down Under. Conversely, wine in your sunny backyard can be way more refreshing.
Don't sweat, though - here are our five killer tips for the best serving temperatures.
Tip #1: A quick chill for reds will soften looser, 'volatile' aromas that alcohol enhances, and when it’s hot out, subduing with a brief spell on ice can make all the difference.
The why: Red wine is generally enjoyed best at 'room’ temperature. Cool, so which room are we talking about here? Here's our tip - imagine you're comfortable wearing that lightweight jacket. That's room temperature; it's often the same in a five-star hotel lobby in the tropics or the snowfields — around 20°C.
The how: If your red has come from a cosy room or a toasty car, 20 minutes in the fridge will freshen it up before it comes to the party.
Sparkling, light or sweeter whites
Tip #2: Lighter white wine should be chilled to the same level as you would with apple juice.
Tip #3: Sparkling can be chilled a little further again (similar to coca-cola) to maintain the bubbles the winemaker worked so hard to get in there in the first place.
The why: The higher acid levels in still and sparkling white wines can feel harsh at higher temperatures, so the general rule is the higher the acid in the wine, the cooler you're going to want it. Lighter, sweeter whites should also be chilled as they'll still be exuberant even at lower temperatures.
The how: For sparkling and lighter wines, introduce them to your fridge at least a couple of hours before you want to drink them.
Rosé and fuller white wines
Tip #4: Rosés and fuller, more neutral whites like chardonnay should be lightly chilled (about the temperature of spreadable butter).
The why: Generally, the acids aren't as razor-sharp as lighter or sparkling whites, and too much cold makes them introverted - bring them into a bit of warmth, and they'll start to open up to you.
The how: Give them an hour in the fridge. If the wine feels too cold on first taste, cup your hands to warm the glass – you'll soon find that the wine is perfect drinking temp.
No time to chill? No worries
Tip #5: If you need to cool things fast, grab a bucket of water, ice and a decent amount of table salt.
The why: Skip the freezer - salt can help you out by lowering water's freezing point quicker than a sled dog in the snow
The how: Submerge your bottle in the salty iced water, and you'll have perfectly chilled wine in 10 minutes or less.