27th November 2015
Australians have been conditioned to keep their red wine at room temperature on the wine rack or in the cupboard and their white wine chilled in the fridge. It is no different for many cafes and restaurants across the country with around 8 out of 10 Australians drinking their red wine 'at room temperature.'
While many of you may be saying 'so what,' in reality Australia is much warmer than the 14 degrees celsius of medieval French drawing rooms where the idea originated. It therefore begs the question why haven't we changed the way that we store and consume our red wines?
Pulling a bottle of Shiraz off the shelf in your 22 degrees celsius controlled bar area means that the wine is being served and consumed by your patrons at the incorrect temperature. A red wine that has been lightly chilled brings out the wine's fruit and oak characteristics, while taming the harsh alcohol and tannic flavours and aromas.
White wine is not immune to incorrect serving temperatures either. While serving a glass of Chardonnay poured straight from the fridge is certainly refreshing, our drinks fridges are often set to 4 degrees celsius which is really too cold to be enjoying wine. White wines served at this temperature are often tight, with the flavours sharp and muted with the acidity more pronounced.
A solution can be found with temperature controlled wine fridges however optimum drinking temperature sensors are gaining momentum and are cost effective, particularly for smaller operators. The sensors change colour to indicate when a red, white or sparkling wine is at its optimum temperature.
For reference, the following scale indicates the best serving temperature for each variety :
- For Moscato, Sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, between 6 - 8 degrees celsius
- Riesling and unwooded Chardonnay 8 - 10 degrees celsius
- Chardonnay 10 - 12 degrees celsius
- Pinot Noir 12 - 14 degrees celsius
- Tempranillo 14 - 16 degrees celsius
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz 16 - 18 degrees celsius
Changing the drinking habits of your patrons can be in your best interests as the average price of red wine is 19% higher than white ...