Wines at Au Pied Du Cochon
I confess I've only been to APDC twice, and one of those times was for brunch.
The first time (a few years ago), we ordered a bottle of red wine (don't remember what it was). It arrived slightly chilled, and when we inquired the waiter said they keep all their wines, reds and whites, together in the same fridge. I think he said it was cooled to 13 C.
An explanation wasn't offered. Some at the table were appalled, others took it as part of the rustic and somewhat quirky experience, along the lines of "if you were eating this in an unheated cabin in the Laurentians, you wouldn't be so fussy about the temperature of the wine."
Since I haven't been back, I don't know if they still do this. I've never heard anyone else mention it, so maybe they NEVER did it and we just happened to have gotten an accidentally chilled bottle and a bullshitting waiter.
I know there are plenty of APDC regulars in here. Please enlighten. Was, or is, this actually the practice at APDC?
(And if so, what do you think of it?)
Most wine cellars are kept at 12 or 13 degrees Celsius or approx. 57 Fahrenheit. Most high end or ageworthy reds are kept in the cellar and as such will be slightly cool when first brought to the table however they start to warm up in the glass. If you don't like your reds cool you could always order your wine the day before and have them bring it up to room temperature for you.
It's not a matter of what I like or not, I it just struck me as a bit unorthodox, and I'm wondering if anyone here knows for sure if that's really the practice at that restaurant.
It's true that wine cellars are traditionally kept quite cool. But that's mostly for long term storage. I've gotten plenty of bottles of red in restaurants, and they're generally in the 18 degrees range. I'm quite happy with 13, because as you say, it warms up in the glass. That's better than getting it at 28 degrees, which is how you sometimes get it on a hot summer day! Blech!
13ºC sounds about normal for a wine straight out of the cellar. That's cool for some reds but hardly scandalous and far better than if it had been served too warm. Besides, wine warms quickly in the glass. If the wine was a light red -- a Beaujolais or a Gamay de Touraine, for example -- 13º is just about perfect. The suggested temperature for some reds is considerably lower; 8º is recommended for Bugey Cerdon, a lightly sparkling, slightly sweet red from just outside the Savoie region. And even bigger reds are usually best served at 16º-18º, the standard range for *chambré* (literally "brought to room temperature" but the rooms in question didn't originally have central heating).
Anyway, it's happened to me at Au Pied de Cochon [not "du Cochon" -- sorry but it's a pet peeve] and other fine restaurants. If you give the sommelier advance warning, he should remove the bottle from the cellar 20 or 30 minutes before opening it. If you don't, he really has no choice unless you're cool with him nuking it briefly in the microwave.
Me think it's good practice.
I've had too many wines served way to hot (not warm, but hot) and ask for an ice bucket to chill it down.
The temperature difference between the wine and the ambient temp. could be more "drastic" in the summer when it can get quite warm in the restaurant compared to the temperature in the cellar.