We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Sunday, May 29. 2016
Prof. B. explained why reds should be chilled a bit before serving, especially in the summer - assuming the bottles are not coming from your underground or temperature-controlled wine cellar. 55-62 degrees F, max. That's not "room temperature."
I think The Prof is absolutely right, but I had never thought it through. No wine tastes good at 76 degrees. Hot grape juice isn't good either. (my Dad calls wine "grape juice" even if it's '81 Petrus).
Same thing applies to old Ports, I think.
Rich folks have wine refrigerators that keep each type of wine at its own preferred temp. If you have one, surely you deserve to be more highly taxed.
Disagree? Let me know.
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Thanks for the reminder. I would tend to agree but 85 degrees? Do you have the heat on in your house up there in Yankee land? Its 63 outside here in the north of Virginia today.
I mean in August. It's been coat weather here since october 08, and still is.
BD ... Your Dad has some '81 Petrus? You lucky duck, you. I had some once, but we drank it all, joyfully. Actually, I agree with you and your Dad, about partially chilling good Reds, especially down here in the South in summer, where it's unspeakably hot right now and I never will get used to it even after 38 years.
Petrus and Lafitte too.
Keeps it in the old root cellar.
A good rule is the 20 minute rule. Reds should be placed in the refrigerator 20 minutes before opening, and whites should be taken out of the refrigerator 20 minute before opening.
I like it cool, not really chilled. It's been in the 40's and 50's in the mornings here Marianne, maybe 70's midday. Lots of rain though.
Cherish that weather, Santay. At least you can go outside without heat prostration, and maybe have a little fire in the fireplace in the evenings. The very thought makes me break out in hives right now. Down here, our three permanent best friends are the roofer, the air conditioning man and the water department, which is kind of a love/hate relationship.
At any rate, here's to good wine and to good friends -- both at the proper temperatures, of course.
Room temperature has been a rather misleading and damaging phrase for many years, a slight chill to any red is benficial I believe.
Room temperature in Victorian age England (where that rule probably came from) would have been chilly compared to the overheated rooms most houses have today, especially in winter.
A nice wine goes well with a nice meal,
but when you're in a place like this,
listening to a pretty lady singing a pretty song,
you'll appreciate ice cold Lone Star.
58 degrees is about right.
There are single bottle chillers that will get your wine to the right temperature in minutes and it's more precise than guessing how long to leave a bottle in refrigerator or freezer (if you have a real time constraint.
One of the best bottles of wine I have enjoyed was a 1987 Sassicaia - simply other worldly.
I've always thought the reds tasted better slightly chilled though lots of 'experts' scoff at you for doing it.
I grew up in a household where reds were chilled. My father's reasoning "They used to drink it warm because they didn't have refrigerators, we do."
Let the big reds cellar a few more months until the weather cools, and try a nice Rose! They are the perfect BBQ wine. Easy to drink, with a bit more body than equally priced whites.
Some great bottles can be found from France, Italy, Napa and Washington.
Summer meals are about being outdoors, enjoying the weather, and nature. Save the reds and the fancy stemware for the roasts served in fall when the chill is in the air, not on your Claret.
Reds should always be served at the room temp of a French chateau: around 50-55 degrees Farenheit.
Of course wine snobs look down on you if you have to "chill" the wine to get down to that temp; their wines are kept at the temp all the time!
Once upon a time, in Brussels, I was lucky enough to be taken to dinner with a group from the company I was doing some work for. The owner of the company was our host. He was a bit pompous.
In any case, when the red he had ordered arrived from the cellar he complained that it was too cold and next thing I knew the bottle necks were being held over candles while they were slowly decanted.
I was seated next to a guy I had struck up a bit of a friendship with and he quietly commented that his boss was a pompous ass and the "room temperature" rule for reds existed long before heating and air-conditioning. Reds being primarily cooler weather wines, that meant pretty cool wine.
I use the 20 minute rule someone mentioned above when I think about it but truth be told I like my reds a bit warm and my whites a bit cold. But then again, I am an uncultured cretin.
What thoughts do y'all have about the aerators in popular use these days?
Can't help you on this one BD. The only wines I ever became totally familiar with was Boone's Farm and MD 2020. :>)
Both of which are best if placed between your date's thighs twenty minutes before opening. It's an odd phenomenon, as it seems to take the chill off both. "Here hold this, while I find a spot on the back rows of the drive in."
What, no Thunderbird or Night Train?!?!? Or perhaps a little Mateus if the ladies were attending.
That's why I keep those tanks of liquid nitrogen around, it's to cool down the Bordeaux and the Brunellos
That's crazy. There is nothing better than sun warmed Burgundy and a grill covered with fresh fish after a day of rafting down river. If you have to have flavorless cold red wine, suck on an ice cube to deaden the ol' taste buds and the temperature of the wine will hardly matter.
"Rich folks have wine refrigerators that keep each type of wine at its own preferred temp. If you have one, surely you deserve to be more highly taxed."
Not just rich folks anymore. I have a perfectly serviceable GE wine fridge that holds about 20 bottles which I purchased at COSTCO for about $100 (Canadian!).
Yeah, I got a similar one too.
Doesn't mean you and I will evade the next tax hike though.
Taxation aside I find the thing handy. It's nice having some wine there at just the right temp. The darn thing has two zones, for red & white. Very happy with it.
People who have wine refrigerators are already taxed more, they pay sales tax on the wine fridge and pay sales taxes on the electricity used every month. For the record, I do not have one.
A basic wine frig holding ~60 bottles is about the size of a dorm room frig and won't break the bank.
Red wine is much better chilled to 55; why don't many restaurants realize this?
in the South in summer, keeping it in the frig and letting it warm up in the glass is way better than opening room temperature bottles....
Bogle Cabernet 2009. this is a decent and inexpensive table wine. definitely chill from room temps. let it breath first.
Got to point out an exception to the chilled grape juice.
While I don't have grapes, I do have a peach tree on my property. No greater taste experience than coming from work, stepping into the back year with the temperature still over 100 and having a ripe peach fall into your hand. Take a good smell than bite into that hot juicy fruit.
First time I ordered wine in New Orleans I was shocked to see them pull it out of the refrigerator. Sure it was chilled but thank goodness! At ambient, it would have been dreadful.
Here in South Texas summer reds are BBQ wines. We try to open them when the cork bulges at least 1/4 inch in the wrapper and let them breath, well they actually pant like a Rottie. We never, never pour them over ice. Yea, Texas reds.
Coming from California, I was aghast when I arrived in New Orleans and they pulled the red wine out of the refrigerator. But on reflection, it made sense.
One doesn't have to be rich to have a wine cooler or two. I helped a lady friend with two - one for white and one for red, different and appropriate temperatures for each. The refridgerators cost only about $100 each and much cheaper than getting a big dual zone unit.
I installed them on a new shelf in the closet under the stairs. The electricity consumption is modest since the delta Ts are low and the door is seldom opened.
It's a good idea to chill the new bottles to about the right temperature before putting them in the units.
Mea culpa, Mea culpa...
I put an ice cube in the glass.
Mostly because I don't have room on the kitchen counters for another appliance. So, no Wine Fridge.
I add ice, too. Plus a slice of lemon to my white wine, it's better that way. I figure if I'm buying the wine and drinking the wine; I'll do what I damn well please.
Yes, I learned the benefits of chilling red wine in hot weather when I was living in francophone Central Africa.