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Old 02-01-2010, 11:52 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by SoCalRealtor View Post
I've always wondered:

Why are white wines served cold while red wines served at around room temp?
primarily taste and smell... and just to set the records straight, "cold" and "room temp" are not the way reds and whites should be served (sorry, i def sounded like a prick/snob saying that)

For a quick explanation...

Each wine has a particular temperature to be served at... depending on the chemical composition of the wine, the notes, the alcohol content, the type of grape used, the fermentation process and basically the final outcome of the wine, temperature can change the way it smells and taste a lot

as for why whites have to be colder... i would imagine because they have no tannins, but i'm not certain of that

White wines however are more floral in the nose... what happens to a wine when it is served too warm... you get a hot alcohol smell to it which will do the following

1. you won't be able to detect all (if any) of the bouquet since the warm temperature is causing you to smell mostly alcohol
2. taste.... that crispness of a nice white wine will be replaced with a hot tasting, bitter mess... blarg

Same with a red wine... when it is served to warm, it doesn't go down very well...

on the contrary, when wines are served too cold, the temperature of the wine will:

1. Mask the bouquet... the wine will smell dull, boring, no aroma's will stand out
2. Taste follows smell.... bland tasting in your mouth...

this goes with white wine as well

Rule of thumb

If a red is at room temp (65-70) put in the frig 20-30 minutes before serving
If a white is in the frig, take it out 20-30 min before serving

Red wines should be served on average between 57-59 degrees... clearly some say 55, some others say 61... but to be safe, high 50's is a good temp for reds.... this temperature will allow you to explore the different aroma's of the wine and try to pick apart the complexity of the flavors... also at this temperature, a nice red wine should leave a relaxing cool feeling in your mouth after drinking it...

White wines are almost always served too cold... sure a white wine right out the fridge is refreshing, however you are robbing yourself from the aromatics of the wine because 37 degrees is covering up everything.

if you want to find out for yourself... buy 2 of the same bottles and test them out at a bad temp (too cold for white, too warm for red) and compare them to the same wine served at the optimum temp

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