Should you chill your Red Wine?
It’s no secret that we love red wine, even over the hot Australian summer. We always drink white wine chilled, but rarely do we do the same for red wine. However, red wines can often benefit greatly from spending a bit of time in the fridge, particularly during the warmer months.
What temperature should you serve red wine?
Different types of wines are recommended to be served at different temperatures in order to enhance or mute their flavour. For instance, acidity provides the structure for most white wines, which is why they have that refreshing and crisp quality when served cold. This also allows the other characteristics of the wine to come to the fore. When white wines are served at room temperature, they often taste differently – the flavours are out of balance, and the sweetness of the fruit can overwhelm everything else.
A similar phenomenon occurs with red wine. Red wines are often defined by their tannin structure and drinking red wine at room temperature – particularly during the hot Australian summer – can detract from this, leaving it tasting soft or a bit rough. Lightly chilling a red wine helps pull it all back into focus.
You might be surprised to know that red wines are best served around 16ºC – much cooler than the average room temperature in Australia for most of the year! Red wines can be stored in the fridge alongside whites, but you’ll want to remove it roughly an hour before opening. Giving it a little time before serving allows the wine to come to the optimal temperature.
Keep in mind that there are no real hard and fast rules here – if you take it out too early, you can always pop it back in the fridge, and if you take it out too late, try cupping your hands around the glass to take the chill off it.
There’s nothing more satisfying on a warm evening than a good barbeque and a great red wine slowly opening up in your glass. Cheers!
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