March 4, 2019 | Angela Chapman
A Chill is in the Air but Not in My Red
Come colder weather many of us wine lovers start drinking more reds. Reds tend to be more appropriate for the winter because they are served at room temperature. This begs the question: why are reds served at room temperature? Much of the reason for this comes down to aromas and flavors. A white wine has very subtle and delicate aromas and flavors. These become detectable by our noses and tongues at lower temperatures. However, for red wine it is the opposite. Higher temperatures help release more aromas and flavors. Not only that, but when you chill a red wine the tannins and polyphenols can come off as more astringent and harsher. Again, the opposite is true for white wine, a higher temperature can make the acid more pronounced making it seem harsher and less crisp. As always, there are exceptions to the rules. Lighter reds, like Pinot Noir, tend to benefit from a slight chill, and heavily oaked Chardonnays can benefit from a higher temperature. Playing around with temperature can make your favorite wines more or less enjoyable. But, always remember, the important thing is what tastes good to you, at whatever temperature that may be.
- Angela Chapman, WSET III
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