Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Feeling the Heat

Summer coming on brings daydreams of grilling, entertaining, cold beer and refreshing white wine. But after a few too many beer commercials, it's kind of stuck in our heads that all beer must be served "ice cold" -- and the same popular wisdom comes into play for our wines -- whites served cold, reds served at room temperature.

Today The Pour, a NY Times blog, tries to set the record straight:
"My point, simply put, is that too often we drink white wine far too cold, which deprives us of tasting the nuanced aromas and flavors in a good bottle. A bad bottle benefits from being highly chilled. The cold masks imbalances and flabbiness. But a good bottle? The cold can hide all the qualities that make it a good bottle . . .

But with white wine – good white wine — I really believe that the experience can be entirely different at a warmer serving temperature. By good white wine, I don’t mean expensive white wine. It can be a $13 bottle of Muscadet, for example. Try it for yourself. This will work best if you have two bottles of the same wine.

Chill two bottles in the refrigerator – let’s say over the course of a day. That evening, remove one bottle. Allow it to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes. Then take out the remaining bottle from the fridge. Open both and sample side-by-side. I think you’ll see that the warmer one will offer far more complexity than the colder one.

While my column focuses on white wine, the reverse is true of red wine. We routinely drink it too warm, thinking that reds are meant to be served at room temperature. Yes, they are, when the temperature of the room peaks around 65 degrees. So while you’re taking those whites out of the fridge for half an hour before serving, try putting reds into the fridge for 20 minutes or so before popping the cork."
Drinking some big reds at room temperature just results in that feeling of alcohol burn, masking the real flavors of the wine. It's disappointing to order a great glass of red at a restaurant -- only to find the bottle has warmed up from being stored incorrectly. This is one of the great things about the Enomatics at kybecca, and every glass of wine served here at table -- temperature controlled every time.

Proper serving temperatures vary depending on the type of beer -- don't hesitate to ask us. Buying wine at the last minute? Don't forget the quick wine chillers at both kybecca shops!

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