Temperatures For Serving Wine

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The battle wages on.  For as long as I can remember people have been enjoying their wine at the temperature they like, and that’s the way it should be.  I’ve seen people warm red wine by placing it on a warm stove, (true story) and I’ve seen lots of people put ice cubes in their wine.  No one is wrong in their preferred way to drink wine.  But as I prepare to do another wine tasting next weekend, I’m confident it will be one of the first questions asked… “What is the proper temperature for serving wine’.

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For some reason people who enjoy red wines feel guilty for bringing the temperature down.  But I always say don’t.  People have been drinking wine for thousands of years, but I’m pretty confident when I say our ‘room temperatures’ wasn’t

in the 20’s for thousands of years.  You see, room temperature for red wine had to do with the temperature of the underground wine cellars in the Old World, which I’m to understand were about 55 degreees Farenheit, which is 13-degrees Celsius.  Cat saying No

This is me when people tell me it’s their private shame that they chill their red wine.  In my opinion, a wine served too warm, or a white wine served too cold, can lose some of the character.  Keep in mind, a red shouldn’t see anything over 25-degrees.  It can really alter the taste of the wine, and I know for a fact, my parents keep their thermostat on 28-degrees Celsius.  But wine shouldn’t be too cold either.   For example, tannins in red wine can taste a little bitter when served too cold.  I personally always refrigerate my red wines 20 – 25 minutes before I serve it.  Less time if its uncorked, because if the seal is broken, it tends to cool quicker.

As you can see by the chart above, port wines should be served the warmest of all the wines.  And on that note, let’s take a look at a couple of wines I enjoyed this past week.

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Last Saturday I bought myself a great cut of beef tenderloin steak from a local butcher.  I love buying local because I know where the meat comes from, and that it was fed apples and grass.  I was really excited about my steak, which I served with potato fries and hot wings.  On top of my steak are mushrooms done in a balsamic glaze.  The only seasoning I use on a great cut of meat is salt and pepper.  This was a delicious meal and I enjoyed a big bold red.

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One of my favorite steak wines comes from Beringer in California, and its the Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon as part of their Distinction Series.  This is the 2015 vintage and although it was fantastic, it still has lots of time to cellar and age.  It will be delicious for years to come.  Beringer has been farming the Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-60’s and it started appearing on the label in 1974.  They have been making this wine for a long time and it is outstanding.  It sells for $38 here in Nova Scotia and believe it or not, that’s less than what it sells for in Ontario!  (About $44)  A great treat wine and I loved this meal.

And now for my wine of the week

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On the journey to become a Certified Sommelier I took many classes and met many wonderful people.  One of them is Jason, who works at a wine store in Halifax called Bishops Cellar.  I was down there a while back and Jason recommended I try this organic wine.  I’ve not had a tremendous amount of success with organic wines, some of them are lacking something.  Plus this wine is from South Africa, which can scare some people off.  (Me a few years back)  But this wonderful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot was done in a Bordeaux style but has less than half the sulphites of most red wines.  Plus there are no chemical additives as well.  And it’s delicious.  And the best part?  It’s $16.50 a bottle!  We can open and enjoy any night of the week and not feel guilty because its not breaking the bank.  This wine is an amazing value and boasts delicious flavors, and you should try it when you can.

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Have a great weekend everyone.  Till next week, Cheers

Darlene

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