Holidays, weekends, festivals and parties mean just one thing. Happy times with people we love. We all love such breaks and look forward to them. We want to forget all the challenges of our daily mundane lives for some time and simply relax with our loved ones and friends.
Some beautiful delicious cool aromatic vintage wine helps us all unwind. Wine has a personality of its own. There is no doubt about it. It demands and commands our attention. We all want to enjoy the entire experience of sipping our wines from our sparkling glasses. We buy our wine bottles with a lot of care. We read the labels carefully. We don’t mind spending good money for quality wine.
We have beautiful memories of all those wonderful evenings when we enjoyed ourselves greatly because we had good wine and great friends for company.
And yet…….sadly……….we all unknowingly end up making the biggest mistake while serving our wines.
Our red wines are invariably served at a temperature that is too warm and our white wines are icy cold. They go down easily and smoothly down our parched throats. But we end up missing out on experiencing all those beautiful flavours, aromas and nuances of full bodied and light bodied wines.
It is like experiencing the Niagara Falls with your eyes closed!L! You miss out on seeing the beauty – which was the best part of the whole experience.
Chilling wine to the right temperature is NOT a time consuming laborious process. Neither do we have to invest a huge sum of money in buying wine coolers.
The key point here is: Whether we are a wine beginner or a wine collector or a wine expert – we need to serve the wine at the right temperature to enjoy all those lovely infused flavours.
Wines can be chilled and served at the right temperatures in as little as 20 minutes. So there is absolutely no need to work ourselves into a bundle of nerves if we plan a sudden impromptu party at home.
The first thing we need to know and remember here is the ideal temperature to serve our red and white wines.
We need to use a proper thermometer to do this. Infrared thermometers and/or contact thermometers are easily available in most kitchen supply stores.
The general notion is red wines should be served at room temperature & white wines should be served chilled– which is so very very misleading!!L! The room temperature varies greatly from one area to another and who really knows the accurate meaning of the word “chilled”?
Here is a table that will give you the precise temperatures at which reds and whites should be served.
Some quick great ways to chill wine to the right temperatures
- Simply put the bottle of wine into the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Use a proper thermometer to see if has cooled to the right temperature before serving it.
- DON’T put it into the freezer even if you are in a hurry. A drastic temperature change is a real wine enemy and will ruin the flavour of your wine completely.
- A simple, extremely effective method of cooling wine gradually is a water bath.
- We just need to fill up two thirds of an ice pail with ice cubes. Simply pour cold water over it till it covers all the ice cubes completely.
- Gently lower your bottles of wines into this bath. If the ice pail can accommodate more water, add more of it.
- Just change the size of the ice pail for bigger parties or increase the number of ice pails and chill reds and whites separately.
- A temperature of 32°F can be reached within 30 minutes.
- Remember: This method works wonderfully for white wines, dessert wines and roses and the perfect serving temperature is reached within 15 minutes.
- Remember: This method is the best option for chilling champagne and sparkling wines.
- The ideal temperature is reached within 30 – 45 minutes. Adding salt to the ice water mixture ruins the flavour of champagne and sparkling wines – so this needs to be really kept in mind! J !
- If the requirement is for a long party and we want a wide variety of wines to be chilled to the right temperature for a long time: we just need to add one cup of fine grained salt for every gallon of water that we use in the ice pail.
- As recommended in the previous step – just increase the size of the pail or use different pails for different wines.
- A better idea would be to use both kinds of ice baths to serve different kinds of wines to your guests.
- A temperature of 15°F can be reached within 20 minutes with this method.
- Remember: Just swirls the bottle around the ice pail gently. This will ensure that the wine inside the bottle is uniformly chilled.
- Remember: Don’t simply dump ice, water and salt into the pail. Mix up the salt with a little warm water. Allow the salt to dissolve a little. Then add the ice on top of this mixture and add cold water quickly over it.
- Take our word for it: These two methods will not affect the flavour/aroma or body of the wine in any way. Yes – ignore all the comments that you hear to the contrary!! We know what we are saying J!
- DON’T add ice cubes to the wine to chill it. The wine will get diluted before we finish drinking it.
- DO add frozen green or red grapes to the wine if you want to chill it while serving it. It is a great idea and requires a little foresight and planning. They look beautiful, chill the wine even as we are sipping it and don’t dilute it in any way.
- Just buy good quality green or red grapes when they are in season. Rinse them thoroughly in running water. Drain them on a thick kitchen towel. Wipe them dry and pop them into the deep freezer.
- Your guests will be delighted and impressed by the uniqueness of your thinking and imagination.
- If you are out on an outdoor holiday and are carrying your favourite bottle of wine with you – just dip your bottle into that cold mountain stream that is flowing near your tent or bury it under the snow for some time.
- The bottle will cool down naturally and slowly. Enjoy and experience the beauty of nature as you sip your wine at the perfect temperature.
- Last but not least – if you believe in collecting different varieties of wines and storing them – wine coolers are the best option.
- Single zone and dual zone wine coolers of different makes are available in the market. They are available in different sizes too. They store and preserve both reds and whites at the right temperatures.
- All we need to do is to set the thermostat at the right temperature and serve them whenever we want to.
- One last tip. As far as possible – try to avoid buying wines that have been stored in wine coolers in a shop. Buy them off the counter and chill them to the right temperatures using any of the methods listed above.
We all can now focus on enjoying our party and having a grand time. Equipped with all these simple, effective and economical tips – all we need to do is to – Just Chill! Sip some great wine and relax!! !!