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Are red wines served too warm?

b
budnball Jul 28, 2011 03:43 PM

Since I'm the only wine drinker in my home, open bottles last a couple of days, so into the fridge. I have started chilling my reds before openning and and let the wine warm in the glass about 10 minutes before drinking and what a difference! My last 2 bottles of Petite Syrah were so much more mellow without the alcohol heat. This is fine for home, but eating out is more problematic.

I only order by the glass when dining out and it seems that reds served at room temp which can get hot in small bistro joints and even some large dining rooms. At least more places are offering half bottles that I can get quick chilled

Do we drink our red wine too warm? Meaning restaurants, wine-bars etc.

  1. m
    mmgth Jul 28, 2011 03:56 PM

    I've been chilling red wine and bringing them up to correct temp. for years. My kids stopped arguing with me about this after we did a Va. wine trail tour and the reds in the field were in ice filled buckets.

    1. b
      Brad Ballinger Jul 28, 2011 04:43 PM

      Yes, more often than not.

      1. z
        zin1953 Jul 28, 2011 06:54 PM

        Generally speaking? Not only are red wines too warm, but white wines are generally served too cold!

        68 Replies
        1. re: zin1953
          Tripeler Jul 29, 2011 12:46 AM

          From my experience, I totally agree with zin1953 on this. Generally, both reds and whites taste best to me when they are just slightly chilled.

          1. re: zin1953
            ChefJune Jul 29, 2011 08:35 AM

            I agree entirely.

            1. re: zin1953
              m
              MyNameIsTerry Aug 12, 2011 01:12 AM

              Ding! Ding! Ding! Red wines are not supposed to be served room temperature, but slightly cooler. We are fortunate to have a basement that is around 60 degrees for our cellar. We chill our whites either with water and ice or with an ice pack around the wine, (easily purchasable) but not overly so.

              1. re: MyNameIsTerry
                MidCoastMaineiac Aug 12, 2011 09:01 AM

                Depends on the red...not all are created equal. Cellar temp for a beaujolais is appropriate, but for a Bordeaux or California cab...not so much. Cooling accentuates the tannins...and that's a bad thing for a tannic red.

                Again, I'm differentiating between "room temperature" and "temperature in the room where the wine is stored/served". Two different things.

                1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                  z
                  zin1953 Aug 12, 2011 09:28 AM

                  I would respectfully disagree . . .

                  Depending upon the Beaujolais, slightly chilled is appropriate . . . I've never met a Bordeaux or Cab that I didn't *prefer* at cellar temp than what is defined as "room temperature" in most of the US.

                  Then again, as this involves *your* personal preference, the bottom line is YMMV.

                  Cheers,
                  Jason

                  1. re: zin1953
                    MidCoastMaineiac Aug 12, 2011 10:24 AM

                    Right, it's about personal taste...but I'm curious as to what red (if any) you prefer above 55F? Generally speaking...

                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                      z
                      zin1953 Aug 12, 2011 04:38 PM

                      This presumes that I actually measure the wine's temperature that accurately, doesn't it?

                      I honestly have no idea how many cases of wine I have in my main cellar, but I know at one point it was around 200 or so. Since the mid-1970s, I've relied on a passive cellar, either underground, or dug into a hillside. The temperature has been very steady, both during a 24-hour cycle, and a longer "seasonal" cycle -- in other words, the temperature does not vary much with outside conditions, and remains stable year-round. I haven't measured it for years, but it's right around 55-58 -- maybe during a prolonged heat wave, it might get up to 60.

                      Given where I reside now, I have approximately 7-10 cases underneath my house -- it's an unfinished basement that is exposed on one side, while the rest is dug into the hillside. Depending upon the weather, it's probably between 50 and 60 or so. I now actually have a "wine cooler" inside the house that holds 36 bottles and it's set to 55. Occasionally, I've seen the digital readout dip to 54, and rise to 56, but nothing more drastic than that.

                      Reds with sediment are stood up in the cellar for some period of time -- days, weeks -- before being decanted and served. Generally, reds too young to have sediment are pulled from the cooler inside the house and served, while whites are pulled from the basement and put into the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes or so.

                      As a result, not only do I have no idea the actual service temperature of the wine at the time I pour the first glass, but I have no doubt that as the wine sits in the glass (or bottle or decanter) that it slowly rises slightly to our ambient room temperature. Since we do not have central air, and since our thermostat is set at 62 (honest!), most of the year the house remains pretty cool. But certainly there are times we eat out on the patio or on our deck, too . . .

                      I have a terra cota wine cooler that will keep a bottle cool that I'll use when the weather is too warm, and if that fails, there are always those VacuVin gel-packs.

                      Cheers,
                      Jason

                      1. re: zin1953
                        MidCoastMaineiac Aug 13, 2011 01:50 PM

                        I don't think you need to accurately measure the temperature of the wine in your glass to know what you prefer above cellar temperature. If your cellar and house generally stay in the 55-62 range, than it's probably a safe bet that most of your red wine (that isn't additionally chilled) is in that range.

                        Honestly, I don't mean to be a pest or a troll, I do have an interest in this. You and a few others in here are obviously the Chowhound wine czars to be sure...while I, on the other hand, have had a maximum of one mixed case of Oregon pinots in my "cellar".

                        I've just found in my experience that if you drink a heavily tannic (or heavily oaked) wine at cellar temp (generally 55ish), than the astringent tannins or "oakiness" is too accentuated. Bring it up closer to "room temp" (68ish), and that part "mellows".

                        How's that for "quotes?. "Generally" speaking.

                        Am I the only one in here that feels that way? Or maybe I'm crazy and I need to change my drinking habits....

                        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                          z
                          zin1953 Aug 13, 2011 02:20 PM

                          Honestly, I find that all of the components you mention -- oakiness, tannic astringency, and the alcohol mentioned by Terry -- are more noticeable the warmer the wine is served.

                          1. re: zin1953
                            Bill Hunt Aug 13, 2011 06:35 PM

                            My experiences have been exactly the same - with too much warmth, usually comes the "heat" from the alcohol, and if one is having, say a big Zin with higher alcohol, that is accentuated. Same for tannins.

                            Hunt

                          2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                            j
                            josephnl Aug 13, 2011 09:37 PM

                            65-68ish is probably perfect for most red wines. Unfortunately, at least in southern CA, "room temperature" in many restaurants is likely 75 degrees, and possibly as high as 85...way too warm. Therefore, at least where we live, we often ask servers to bring an ice bucket to the table to cool red wine a bit.

                            1. re: josephnl
                              Bill Hunt Aug 14, 2011 08:59 PM

                              I feel the same, as you do.

                              Cannot recall the last time that I requested an ice bucket for a white, but often for my reds.

                              Hunt

                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                MidCoastMaineiac Aug 15, 2011 07:22 AM

                                Now I'm really confused...on a post above you agree with zin and believe all reds should be served at cellar temp, and now above you believe 65-68 is appropriate for most reds.

                                I guess I won't get much backup on this board, but even the most perfunctory research on the topic will show a general consensus amongst "experts" that lighter reds should be 55ish (on one end of the spectrum) and heavy, tannic, oaked reds should be 65-68ish (on the other end). Of course most wine is served too warm. Of course 75+ degrees on ANY wine is too warm. That's not my argument.

                                55 degrees for a cab highlights tannins and suppresses the "good" components. 65-68 degrees? Supressess tannins and highlights good characterstics. 75-80 degrees? Awful.

                                But hey, to each their own right?

                                1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                  m
                                  MyNameIsTerry Aug 15, 2011 07:29 AM

                                  I would agree that 65 - 68 is probably what I have found my big reds to taste best at, although I've never specifically measured.

                                  1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                    b
                                    budnball Aug 15, 2011 09:43 AM

                                    Don't worry about backup. You will just not get the last word . ;-)

                                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                      j
                                      josephnl Aug 15, 2011 10:23 AM

                                      Absolutely...to my palate also, lighter reds such as a Brouilly are much better when chilled to 55 or so.

                                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                        z
                                        zin1953 Aug 15, 2011 09:14 PM

                                        a) Don't worry about backup.

                                        b) It's not ever a question -- or at least, it hasn't been -- of a SPECIFIC temperature.

                                        c) BIG generalization: the lighter the red, the cooler the temp; the heavier the red, the warmer the temp. 65-68 is STILL cooler than (most American) room temperature -- or, at least, was pre-energy crisis and central heating.

                                        Let me attempt to make this even clearer. . .

                                        As I have said elsewhere, I have a passive cellar -- the temperature is not artificially controlled; it is, in a sense, a true "cellar temperature." I pull a 10-15 year old Bordeaux from the cellar -- it's at cellar temp. I open it, decant it, and it opens up and (naturally) warms up . . . but it still isn't "warm."

                                        I do not disagree that -- automatically -- a Cabernet or a Bordeaux is horrible at 65, and I wouldn't want it to be above 68 under any circumstances . . . but, depending upon age, character, and a dozen (hundred?) other factors, I may not even want the wine that warm . . .

                                        Cheers,
                                        Jason

                                        1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                          Bill Hunt Aug 15, 2011 09:54 PM

                                          I am sorry, but can you point to my reply, stating that 65 - 68 is the desired temp. I expanded all, assuming that I had mis-typed, but could not find it.

                                          Maybe I am just missing something, and that you can show it to me.

                                          I bring my reds from the cellar at 55F, and often decant them. In AZ, the temp will rise a bit, but not THAT much, as the room temps in my home are about 70F. By serving time, the temp will elevate some, but not that much. If I need extended decanting time, the decanter is in the cellar at 55F, and then brought up to the dining room.

                                          As to a cooler red, especially a tannic one, I find that too warm will exacerbate the alcohol and the tannins. Too cold, and like whites, the fruit will be occluded.

                                          Thanks for pointing me to my mistake,

                                          Hunt

                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                            MidCoastMaineiac Aug 16, 2011 06:35 AM

                                            Josephnl: 65-68ish is probably perfect for most red wines.

                                            Bill Hunt response: I feel the same, as you do.

                                            Maybe you were only agreeing to another part of Josephs post.

                                            I think part of the problem here is that we are hung up on the term "room temperature". Of course generalizations are made in here...but I'm using "room temperature" in the classic sense - i.e. around 68 degrees (though I would say the GENERALLY that the heavy reds should be somewhere in the 65-68 range).

                                            Temperature in the room where the wine is stored and/or served is something entirely different. I guess I moved this away from "are red wines served too warm" - generally (yes) vs what are generally the ideal temps for certain reds.

                                            In some weird way, I actually think we are on the same page Zin and Bill.

                                            BTW, I was trying to think of a way to blind taste this...but since the temp would be pretty self evident once it hits the lips...I'm not sure how it could be done. I suppose some test could be done on the bouquet on a cold red vs warmer red.

                                            1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                              Bill Hunt Aug 16, 2011 06:12 PM

                                              Whatever you like. It's your wine, and you may serve it at any temp, that you like.

                                              Enjoy,

                                              Hunt

                                              PS- as the CH forum does not have block quotes, gotta' make sure that I select exactly the phrase/sentence, that I am replying to.

                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                j
                                                josephnl Aug 16, 2011 10:20 PM

                                                Right on, Hunt. My basic and really only rule with wine is, if it tastes good drink it!

                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                  c
                                                  cgarner Aug 17, 2011 09:25 AM

                                                  Bill and Joseph, I was reading this thread and thinking the same. If someone enjoys wine anywhere from room temperature to a wine slushy, then That's the temperature they enjoy it and let them drink it the way they like.
                                                  My personal preference is to have a red cooler than restaurants generally serve them, but that's MY preference.
                                                  (I'm not making the red-wine slushy thing up either, there is a wine-maker that sells them at my local farmers market for $7.00)

                                                  1. re: cgarner
                                                    MidCoastMaineiac Aug 17, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                    I don't think you'll find anyone in here (including myself) who doesn't prefer their reds "cooler than restaurants generally serve them".

                                                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                      Bill Hunt Aug 17, 2011 08:49 PM

                                                      Count me as one, who does.

                                                      Hunt

                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                        MidCoastMaineiac Aug 18, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                        I think I'm living in the twilight zone. I need to get out of this thread before my brain explodes.

                                                2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                  MidCoastMaineiac Aug 17, 2011 01:31 PM

                                                  Makes we wonder, are there any absolutes whatsoever when it comes to wine? Heck, are there even any generalities? Just like food, I certainly think so. Are the flavors of a steak best represented by eating it well done?

                                                  1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                    Bill Hunt Aug 17, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                    In the end, it is what one enjoys most. If they like their Montrachets, and Cortons (whites) at 45F, so be it.

                                                    If they like their Cal-cabs and Bdx (reds) at 85F, so be it.

                                                    Hunt

                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                      MidCoastMaineiac Aug 18, 2011 06:49 AM

                                                      Yes, so be it...but...if somebody likes their cal-cabs and red bdx at 85F, then they don't like wine.

                                                      Just like somebody who like's their steak well done...they don't like steak. Not really.

                                                      Or, if somebody thinks Crapplebees is the best restaurant on the planet. Then they don't like food.

                                                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                        c
                                                        cgarner Aug 18, 2011 09:57 AM

                                                        I can’t tell if you’re being facetious or not. Someone who likes steak well done, likes steak…. Well done
                                                        Someone who likes a wine to be warm….likes warm wine

                                                        Why would anyone want to eat or drink something they didn’t like?

                                                        1. re: cgarner
                                                          MidCoastMaineiac Aug 18, 2011 10:12 AM

                                                          Agree to disagree I guess. What I'm saying is that if somebody likes to burn a piece of food like a steak to the point that it loses all flavor (and gains shoe leather flavor), then they don't like steak. They like shoe leather.

                                                          If somebody takes a glass of wine and adds 3 tablespoons of sugar to it, they don't like wine. They like wine coolers. Or they like wine with sugar added to it. But not wine.

                                                          1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                            j
                                                            josephnl Aug 18, 2011 10:57 AM

                                                            Sorry...but I must agree with cgarner. Just because you (and I) do not like an 85 degree cab or a well done steak, doesn't mean that our preferences are more valid than those who disagree with us. Preferences in food, wine and many things in life are a matter of personal taste, and no personal taste is more valid than another. Thank goodness that most of us are able to fall madly in love with persons whose physiques are not close to the sculptor's "perfection" of Michaelangelo's David, or Venus de Milo!

                                                            1. re: josephnl
                                                              MidCoastMaineiac Aug 18, 2011 12:23 PM

                                                              Agreed on your last sentence.

                                                              What about the wine example? If somebody puts 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar into their glass of 2000 Chateau Lafite, I don't believe they actually like "wine". At some point you bastardize the original ingredient to the point that it becomes something else entirely. That's all I'm saying.

                                                              Can you be a oenophile if you only drink Boone's Farm? Can you be a foodie if your favorite restaurant is McDonalds?

                                                              I just shot my horse and am now hitting it with a 2x4.

                                                              1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                thew Aug 18, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                                how about coffee? does adding sugar mean you don't like coffee? how about french fries, does adding ketchup mean you don't like french fries? does salting your steak mean you don't like steak.

                                                                you say if someone likes steak well done they dont like steak - i say horseshit. to YOU it tastes like shoe leather - to them it tastes like steak. well done. the way they like it.

                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                  MidCoastMaineiac Aug 18, 2011 02:03 PM

                                                                  Does adding sugar to that fine bordeaux mean you don't like wine?

                                                                  1. re: thew
                                                                    Bill Hunt Aug 18, 2011 06:56 PM

                                                                    I love coffee, and have consumed it for many decades, but do add sugar, and cream (not milk). I also strongly prefer raw sugar, and travel with it, just for my coffee. Good analogy.

                                                                  2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                    j
                                                                    josephnl Aug 18, 2011 12:50 PM

                                                                    I've never heard of anyone adding sugar to a fine Bordeaux but I know many who enjoy a well done steak. Who's to say that a medium rare steak is "better" than a well done steak? That's how I prefer my steak, but I think it's wrong to assume that those who order steak well done, don't enjoy it as much as you or I might enjoy a medium rare steak.

                                                                    1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                      Bill Hunt Aug 18, 2011 06:54 PM

                                                                      The sugar analogy is a bit strong, but is about how I feel about serving a nice red too warm - for me.

                                                                      As stated by me, and a few others, it is all about personal taste. You like the reds warmer than I do, and find faults when they are cooler. I find faults, when too warm, so prefer cooler. That is a difference between you and me.

                                                                      Were you my guest, I would try to warm the reds for you, and enjoy mine closer to cellar temp. Your choice would be your choice, and I would never hold that against you.

                                                                      To me, it is simple - wine should be about enjoyment. You like Syrah, and I like Cab Franc. So what? We like, what we like, and no one is "wrong," there is just a difference, and that is the point that I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to make.

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 18, 2011 07:02 PM

                                                                        Terms like "oenophile," and "foodie," are more often applied to a person, by them. Any term can be self-applied. Now, whether others will agree is something different.

                                                                        With regards to wine, others have applied many flattering terms to me. I usually answer that I am a "wino," and do not really know if those other terms apply.

                                                                        Now, in my past, I did drink some Boone's Farm, but then preferred Annie Green Springs (same genre of wine-like-product). I do not think that I have dined at a McDonalds in probably 35 years, but did do a fish sandwich back in about 1980.

                                                                        Do either insist that I cannot enjoy a glass of Schrader Old Sparky, or foie gras at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Mayfair?

                                                                        If you are happy with your reds warmer, than I choose, that does not reflect on any form of "right," or "wrong." Trust me on this - I will not hold it against you, but will chill mine more than the glass that I serve you.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                    2. re: thew
                                                                      MidCoastMaineiac Aug 18, 2011 02:01 PM

                                                                      There have to be some absolute truisms. There have to be. Now you guys are hung up on steak and semantics. Focus on the wine part. Does that person who destroys that bordeaux actually "like" the taste of wine?

                                                                      What about this...if somebody likes their steak burnt to a char...absolutely blistered beyond all recognition...they don't like the taste of steak. They like the taste of char. A chemical reaction has occurred that changes that piece of meat from animal muscle to something completely different.

                                                                      Truisms exist with other things...why not taste?

                                                                      1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 18, 2011 07:06 PM

                                                                        "Does that person who destroys that bordeaux actually "like" the taste of wine?"

                                                                        Who would I be, to judge?

                                                                        I could be that the person does NOT like the tastes in that wine. Same with the steaks. They might not like the tastes, and prefer the char, or maybe they have been watching some TV "health report," and have decided that a burnt steak is more healthy? That is their call.

                                                                        I cannot imagine adopting a vegetarian style, and at any level. However, I know some level 5 Vegans, and that is their choice. It is not up to me to pass judgement, though I could never join them.

                                                                        They are drinking the wine, and are doing things that I would never do, or even think to do. Still, if it increases their enjoyment, it is little of my business - except that I now know to NOT serve Aunt Marge a fine Bdx... [Grin]

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                          Veggo Aug 18, 2011 07:14 PM

                                                                          Hunt, in this busy adversarial world, you have a refreshingly simple live-and-let-live, " can't we all just get along " demeanor. I hope it goes viral!
                                                                          Veg

                                                                      2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 18, 2011 06:49 PM

                                                                        Now wait a moment. How can you apply that analogy, regarding steak?

                                                                        That was the earlier argument that I made for red wines being served too warm. For me, the alcohol and the tannins are all that come through - for me, yet because you feel the opposite, you feel that I am somehow wrong. Do you not find a paradox here?

                                                                        While I like my beef rare to med-rare (room temp center, but very red), and do not enjoy much above that, for personal preference reasons, if a guest wants the Kobe #3 well-done, I try to accommodate, though it does pain me a bit. In the end, if they enjoy it, who am I to question their choice? I just try to accommodate them, for their personal enjoyment.

                                                                        If Aunt Marge wants to put 7-Up in the Ch. Latour '74, that is her prerogative, though due to my pain at observing, I might make a mental note to NOT serve a nice Bdx, when she is a guest.

                                                                        Hunt

                                                                    3. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                      Bill Hunt Aug 18, 2011 06:42 PM

                                                                      No. You do seem to be in some sort of "Twilight Zone." What I said was
                                                                      "If they like their Cal-cabs and Bdx (reds) at 85F, so be it.," and that pretty much say it all, in one little sentence. If you like them warmer, than I do, that is your choice. If you read anything into that, it was your own doing, as nothing was implied, beyond that personal tastes should dictate.

                                                                      I like my reds cooler, than you do. Who is correct? I am for me, but you are for you. It should be about what one enjoys most. Same with wines, themselves.

                                                                      Not sure what you are looking for here?

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                        j
                                                                        josephnl Aug 18, 2011 10:31 PM

                                                                        Keep it up Hunt. Your "live and let live" words are refreshing on this site where unfortunately too many are intolerant of those whose views differ from their own.

                                                                        1. re: josephnl
                                                                          MidCoastMaineiac Aug 19, 2011 04:53 AM

                                                                          Who is being intolerant? I actually resent that remark. Please point me to where (as others are also saying above) that I have said somebody is "right" or "wrong" in their preferences. I was simply trying (quite unsucessfully I might add) to say that there are indeed absolute truisms when it comes to taste / food / drink in general...just as there are with other things. I wish I could take back the steak comment as that obviously proved to be the wrong analogy. I still feel that if somebody alters their bordeaux in such a way as to make it unrecognizable (ie adding heaps of sugar) then they do not like the taste of wine. If you choose to say that they do, that is your choice.

                                                                          This site is, after all, a place to offer opinions and advice isn't it? What if I came in here as a newbie wine drinker and said "Hey guys, I just had a bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 last night and it was the best wine I've ever had, I think it will be the only wine I drink from now on. You all should try it!". Now, Hunt (and others) being the diplomats that you are could certainly choose to say "Good for you! Welcome to the wonderful world of wine!". But I would hope not. It would certainly be within your right to say "you're wrong", but I would certainly hope and expect that you would instead offer up some opinions...recommending that this newbie try some other "starter" wines or at least some other pleasant tasting wines.

                                                                          And you know what? I'm sorry, but your view IS more valid. You, Hunt, have a lifetime more of experience with wine that you can draw from when making recommendations that will, ultimately (hopefully) prove to this newbie that there is a whole other world out there beyond Mad Dog.

                                                                          But, I guess in the end I will give up. I can't make the point I'm trying to make...so be it.

                                                                          If I choose to add bacon grease to my glass of bordeaux, I do indeed like the taste of wine. If I only ever eat at McDonalds because I think it's the greatest restaurant on the planet, then I am a foodie. If I go to a sushi bar and grill my nigiri to an unrecognizable char with my handy pocket George Foreman grill, I do indeed like sushi. And if I prefer my heavily tannic, oaky reds at 65 degrees F instead of 55, then I do like red wine.

                                                                          1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                            thew Aug 19, 2011 05:20 AM

                                                                            you have made the point you are trying to make. that doesn't mean everyone will agree with it

                                                                            1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                              Bill Hunt Aug 24, 2011 08:48 PM

                                                                              What seems to be lost here is that what one enjoys is personal.

                                                                              If 1000 people feel that you are drinking your reds too warm, but you like them that way, then you are correct.

                                                                              If 1000 people feel that you are drinking your reds too cool, but you like them that way, then you are correct.

                                                                              What others like, should be of zero concern to you. I might not like mine at that temp, but that is only how I like my reds.

                                                                              The same holds for varietals, styles, and so much more. It should always be about what YOU like. There is not "right," and no "wrong."

                                                                              Not sure what you are looking for, but if it's validation from me, you do not get that - however, that does not equate to right, or wrong - just personal preferences.

                                                                              Not at all sure how the bacon, the McDonald's references, or anything else figures in, beyond stating what you like. I might not agree, but that is due to personal choices, and nothing else.

                                                                              I like Chardonnay, but you hate it. You like Pinot Gris, but I dislike it. Nothing wrong with that picture, as I will drink my Chardonnays, and you, your Pinot Gris. Room for everyone in that arena, at least in my estimation.

                                                                              Enjoy,

                                                                              Hunt

                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                thew Aug 25, 2011 06:59 AM

                                                                                bill - i love you. i love that there are places where we agree completely, and others where are 180 degrees opposite of each other. it's grand

                                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                                  Bill Hunt Aug 25, 2011 06:41 PM

                                                                                  Yes, over time, there have been "moments," but I have great respect for your views, even when we are defending opposite tenants. That is what discussion should be about.

                                                                                  When that has happened, I have never felt that you have tried to drag me to your point-of-view, and only hope that I have not done so also. I try to state my point, and leave it, at that, and respect you, for doing the same.

                                                                                  However, when we agree, we can hoist a glass of nice Cab (at any temp that we wish), to each other. This one's for you - Joseph Phelps Napa Cab (at ~ 61F).

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                              2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                                z
                                                                                zin1953 Aug 25, 2011 10:43 PM

                                                                                >>> I was simply trying (quite unsucessfully I might add) to say that there are indeed absolute truisms when it comes to taste / food / drink in general... <<<
                                                                                Yes, well, the problem here is that are VERY FEW (if any) absolutes in life, generally, let alone in matters of taste. I can think of NO "absolute truisms" when it comes to wine, and very few that apply to food.

                                                                                >>> I wish I could take back the steak comment as that obviously proved to be the wrong analogy. <<<
                                                                                True that.
                                                                                >>> I still feel that if somebody alters their bordeaux in such a way as to make it unrecognizable (ie adding heaps of sugar) then they do not like the taste of wine. If you choose to say that they do, that is your choice. <<<
                                                                                Yes, but you see, no one has said that and THAT has not been the discussion.

                                                                                I sense your frustration, but you do yourself a disservice when you make the leap from the "micro," such as the temperature of a wine at service, and the "macro," such as someone add(ing) bacon grease to (a) glass of (B)ordeuax." No one has suggested that latter, and to veer that far afield negates any effective effort to make your point.

                                                                                This is also true with your analogy with MD 20/20. Now, personally, I'd love to see all high-proof fortified wines like MD 20/20 (and Thunderbird, Ripple, Cisco, etc.) be outlawed, but that's an entirely different discussion for an entirely different forum. But if you substitute, say, White Zin for MD 20/20 . . .

                                                                                >>> What if I came in here as a newbie wine drinker and said "Hey guys, I just had a bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel last night and it was the best wine I've ever had, I think it will be the only wine I drink from now on. You all should try it!". Now, Hunt (and others) being the diplomats that you are could certainly choose to say "Good for you! Welcome to the wonderful world of wine!". But I would hope not. It would certainly be within your right to say "you're wrong", but I would certainly hope and expect that you would instead offer up some opinions...recommending that this newbie try some other "starter" wines or at least some other pleasant tasting wines. <<<

                                                                                May I tell you what MY response would be?

                                                                                I would indeed say "Congratulations! I'm very glad you found a wine you love. Welcome to the wonderful world of wine." But I would ALSO add suggestions for, perhaps, a White Zinfandel that was better than the Sutter Home, as well as a suggestion for some off-dry rosés, other blush wines, and so on . . . as well as asking questions of the poster -- why does he/she love that particular wine so much? what is it about *that* wine, compared to others, that makes it preferable? and so on . . .

                                                                                The difference is that I would NEVER say they were wrong, and -- in fact -- I do *not* think "it would certainly be within (my) right to say 'you're wrong'." I would never say that individual was wrong, any more than I would say the person who orders their steak well done was wrong, no matter how overcooked I might think it is.

                                                                                You know, when I worked for a winery in the Napa Valley back in the late-1970s, we were just excited that people were coming to Napa to taste wines. And we would always say to a visitor, for example, "You know, if you don't like our Zinfandel, you might want to try the one across the street . . ." The key was -- again -- simply that they were here, and we encouraged them to find wines they did like! Today, of course, people have to pay a fee at many wineries in order to taste, and far too many wineries treat visitors like they are doing them a favor by letting them come . . .

                                                                                >>> If I choose to add bacon grease to my glass of bordeaux, I do indeed like the taste of wine. <<<

                                                                                Again, completely off-target. A much better analogy would be ice. If someone adds an ice cube to the wine, that does not fundamentally alter the taste/flavor of the wine -- certainly not in the way that adding "heaps of sugar" or "bacon grease" would do. Now I've been known tp add an ice cube or two to a glass of wine I thought was too warm, while waiting for the bottle to cool. But it's one thing -- in my mind -- to add an ice cube to a $12 bottle of California Sauvignon Blanc, and quite another to add it to a $120 bottle of Corton Charlemage . . . but don't ask me where that line is drawn -- it's on a case-by-case (or rather, a bottle-by-bottle) basis.

                                                                                Cheers,
                                                                                Jason

                                                                                1. re: zin1953
                                                                                  Bill Hunt Aug 26, 2011 05:18 PM

                                                                                  The closest, that I can come to a wine "truism," would be that heavily TCA contaminated wines taste and smell bad - but then I would need to qualify that some seem to have zero sensitivity to TCA, so they might never notice.

                                                                                  Beyond that, it becomes a matter of taste, and personal preferences. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                  1. re: zin1953
                                                                                    Bill Hunt Aug 26, 2011 05:29 PM

                                                                                    "I still feel that if somebody alters their bordeaux in such a way as to make it unrecognizable (ie adding heaps of sugar) then they do not like the taste of wine."

                                                                                    Obviously not a direct response to Jason here, but to the poster. I would make one change to that statement. Here is how I would finish it, "... they do not like the taste of THAT wine... "

                                                                                    While I would be personally offended, that I had presented that guest with a wine, that they needed to alter drastically, if they then enjoyed it, so be it. I would make a note to myself to NOT serve that guest that type of wine, in the future. Still, if an adulteration to a fine wine allows them to enjoy said wine, then the problem is mine. I should not make that mistake again.

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                    1. re: zin1953
                                                                                      Bill Hunt Aug 26, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                                                      Again, not to Jason's responses, but the thread has gotten a tad "misshapen."

                                                                                      "What if I came in here as a newbie wine drinker and said "Hey guys, I just had a bottle of Sutter Home White Zinfandel last night and it was the best wine I've ever had, I think it will be the only wine I drink from now on. You all should try it!". Now, Hunt (and others) being the diplomats that you are could certainly choose to say "Good for you! Welcome to the wonderful world of wine!". But I would hope not. It would certainly be within your right to say "you're wrong", but I would certainly hope and expect that you would instead offer up some opinions...recommending that this newbie try some other "starter" wines or at least some other pleasant tasting wines"

                                                                                      I would definitely say "welcome." I started, so very many years ago, not too far from that point. Then, I had a major catharsis, and my life changed. Many here got such a start, and then moved on - some would say "upward."

                                                                                      Still, everyone must start somewhere, and the road can be very rewarding, at least to some.

                                                                                      Now, I would possibly recommend some Rosés, that are a bit more fruit-forward, and for the perception of "sweet," maybe some Rieslings, with plenty of fruit, if not some actual RS.

                                                                                      When I had MY catharsis, I had a great mentor. I would love to be able to share, what Dr. Jodi shared with me, with anyone else. To me, wine is meant to be shared.

                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        josephnl Aug 26, 2011 09:41 PM

                                                                                        That's exactly how I think one can help a wine newbie learn to enjoy more wines. I am thinking about a friend who also really liked Sutter Home white zinfandel...the first wine he had tried. He was convinced he would not like any wine that was not sweet. I encouraged him to try a very crisp, apple-ly, grassy New Zealand sauvignon blanc that was bone dry, but very fruity. I served it to him with some grapes and green apple, and suggested that he compare the flavors. He loved the sauvignon blanc and insisted that it was sweet...it wasn't...but has since learned to really enjoy the fruitiness of this wine. He still really enjoys various sauvignon blanks...and also some other fruit forward white wines. Red wines, are still not in his repertoire...but one day may be.

                                                                                        1. re: josephnl
                                                                                          Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2011 08:43 PM

                                                                                          Yes, different wines, maybe paired with different foods, and maybe even with certain friends (?), can allow things to "click."

                                                                                          In my case, my poor wife had tried, and tried, as had some of her friends. I was just not "getting it."

                                                                                          One night, a great friend offered up a Pomerol Bdx (mostly Merlot in that blend), with a great meal. I accepted, though was not that excited about the wine. Well, as the evening progressed, I began picking up all sorts of impressions in that first glass. It changed, right before my eyes (well, actually my nose), and in wonderful ways. I was amazed, and while the conversation and the food was great, could not get enough time with that wine. I think that my nose was buried deeply in that glass for most of the night. I refused to let the server top my glass up, for quite some time, as I did not want to spoil how things were evolving.

                                                                                          When that night was over, I had been completely converted. The rest, as they say is history. In about 1982, I began a quest to sample as many really good wines, as I could. I am still on that journey, but it was one, that had to start somewhere.

                                                                                          Unlike the wines, that my wife and many of her tasting circle were recommending to me, this lovely Merlot was ideal with the meal, and then the conversation. It worked, where others had failed.

                                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                            z
                                                                            zin1953 Aug 25, 2011 07:35 AM

                                                                            To reply seriously . . .

                                                                            >>> Makes we wonder, are there any absolutes whatsoever when it comes to wine? <<<
                                                                            Extremely FEW, if any at all . . .

                                                                            >>> Heck, are there even any generalities? <<<
                                                                            Of course there are, it's just that for every generality, there are dozens (if not thousands) of exceptions!

                                                                            >>> Just like food, I certainly think so. <<<
                                                                            Really? Name two.

                                                                            >>> Are the flavors of a steak best represented by eating it well done? <<<
                                                                            Now speaking personally, I prefer my steak rare. My wife prefers it "blue." There is a difference between those two stages of cooking, while I will certainly eat a steak cooked blue, I definitely prefer it rare. It tastes better to me. OTOH, she loves a filet mignon, whereas I would much prefer a rib-eye for example. Again, to me, it tastes better. But if she were writing this, she would tell you that "blue" and the filet taste better!

                                                                            The same applies to how the steak is cooked. YOU (obviously) believe that the flavors of a steak are *not* "best represented by eating it well done," and while I would personally agree with you, clearly there are a heck of a lot of people ordering their steaks cooked "well done" each and every single day! Are they wrong? Who says so? Clearly they are being served a steak the way *they* like it, and what can possibly be wrong with that?

                                                                            1. re: zin1953
                                                                              MidCoastMaineiac Aug 26, 2011 12:18 PM

                                                                              Again with the "right" and "wrong". It's not a right vs wrong, and I never said that. If this isn't a forum to show people other ways related to food & drink which just might be better, then what is?

                                                                              In spite of vocal opposition, I will continue to contend that at some point the subjective ("red wine is served too warm", or "66F is too warm for a red") turns into the objective (you don't know what you are talking about if you say "wine is best served at 212F"). An extreme example, but somewhere between 66 and 212F lies an absolute truth.

                                                                              If somebody does indeed like their wine at 212F, it's no longer wine. Or they have some physical condition that is causing a view so outside the pale as to render them ignorable in a civilized food/drink chat room. Or we can statistically call them an outlier, and continue to contend that there is an absolute truth, in spite of this one obvious anomoly.

                                                                              Same with steak -- somewhere on the spectrum between raw and burnt to a crisp, that steak loses it's "steak flavor". It just does. It's a chemical change that physically occurs. It's not a right or wrong...but if you eat a steak that has lost it's steak flavor, it is certainly within the realm of possibility that you do not like the taste of steak.

                                                                              1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                                PolarBear Aug 26, 2011 04:47 PM

                                                                                sadoequinonecrophilia

                                                                                1. re: PolarBear
                                                                                  z
                                                                                  zin1953 Aug 26, 2011 05:33 PM

                                                                                  True that.

                                                                                2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                                  thew Aug 30, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                                                  i like wine. i also like hot wine mulled with spices. its still wine. great on an alpen slope after a day of skiing

                                                                                  1. re: thew
                                                                                    Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2011 05:40 PM

                                                                                    Sort of a wine-based beverage, and I agree, nice served very warm, on a cold day.

                                                                                    An opposite analogy might be a wonderful Sangria, served over ice on a hot afternoon.

                                                                                    Neither suggests that either of us would serve our wines heated to steaming, or chilled with ice, on their own - however, if one would wish to do that, that is their option.

                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                      j
                                                                                      josephnl Aug 30, 2011 06:24 PM

                                                                                      Obviously both are delicious utilizing the appropriate wines and in the appropriate settings. Doubt that anyone would use a fine vintage bordeaux or burgundy for either, but these are great examples of how wine need not always be served at "optimal temperature".

                                                                                      1. re: josephnl
                                                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2011 06:31 PM

                                                                                        Well, I would not, but that might not stop some others - again, their choice. I just do not want to see it...

                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                3. re: zin1953
                                                                                  MidCoastMaineiac Aug 26, 2011 12:19 PM

                                                                                  And, just for the record, I don't care how you drink your wine or eat your steak.

                                                                                  1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                                    z
                                                                                    zin1953 Aug 26, 2011 05:34 PM

                                                                                    Gee, and up until now, I thought this was a rather civil discussion.

                                                          2. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                            m
                                                            MyNameIsTerry Aug 12, 2011 09:35 AM

                                                            Room temp wine also accenuates the alcohol IMHO.

                                                            1. re: MyNameIsTerry
                                                              z
                                                              zin1953 Aug 12, 2011 04:17 PM

                                                              Agreed. As can the stemware . . .

                                                        2. re: zin1953
                                                          c
                                                          creamsherry Jul 22, 2012 11:46 PM

                                                          for some reason that is one of the reasons why I enjoy reds though Zin. They can just be opened and poured, and generally speaking this leads to times when I am experiencing different temperatures while drinking them(because they are room temperature and not chilled).

                                                        3. h
                                                          HB_Jeff Jul 29, 2011 07:03 AM

                                                          budnball,

                                                          I agree with you that reds tend taste better a bit chilled. What I do is leave a few wine glasses in the freezer. After opening a bottle of red and decanting it, I pour it into the "frozen" wine glass. After 3 minutes or so, the wine is at a temperature I prefer. In the event it is too cool, I simply wait a minute or two more.

                                                          This may sound a bit "hokey" but it works pretty well.

                                                          I am sure this isn't something you would do with a good quality wine, but for the average wines I tend to drink I think it's fine.

                                                          I would be interested to hear what the experts / professionals like zin1953 think....

                                                          Good luck!

                                                          JEFF

                                                          7 Replies
                                                          1. re: HB_Jeff
                                                            z
                                                            zin1953 Jul 29, 2011 07:20 AM

                                                            The bottom line, Jeff, is that if it works for you, that's perfect!

                                                            It isn't something I would do for a couple of reasons: a) I would worry about the "thermal shock" to the wine as it goes from ambient temperature into a frozen glass, and b) I would worry about condensation on and in the glass as it is removed from the freezer. But -- seriously -- if you like the results, go for it!

                                                            1. re: zin1953
                                                              h
                                                              HB_Jeff Jul 29, 2011 08:01 AM

                                                              Thanks for the prompt response zin1953!

                                                              It sounds like ctl98's suggestion below is a good way to go (take whites out of fridge 20 min prior to serving and place reds into fridge 20 min prior to serving).

                                                              I have learned something yet again here at Chowhound. I appreciate the sage advice of folks like zin1953 who are always willing to share with those of us who ask.....

                                                              JEFF

                                                              1. re: zin1953
                                                                j
                                                                josephnl Aug 14, 2011 10:37 PM

                                                                Please...what do you mean by "thermal shock"? I've seen wine experts...well known winemakers...take a bottle of red wine that was too warm and plunge it into an ice bucket without any apparent concern of "shocking" the wine. And really, will the minuscule amount of condensation which might occur from chilling a glass truly cause a detectible dilution? I would seriously doubt it! Both of these concerns sound pretty silly to an admittedly non-expert, but nevertheless a person who enjoys drinking excellent wine on pretty much a daily basis.

                                                                As I said earlier in this thread, I personally enjoy red wine at ~65 degrees or so (I'm not so sensitive that I need to use a thermometer), and at many restaurants and a home this usually means 5 minutes or so in an ice bucket.

                                                                1. re: josephnl
                                                                  z
                                                                  zin1953 Aug 15, 2011 07:53 AM

                                                                  You're close, but we've misunderstood each other by "this" much . . . .

                                                                  I, too, have been known to toss a bottle of wine that is too warm into ice -- or put ice cubes into my glass. I'm talking context, however, as well as two different wines. To wit,

                                                                  In my post above, I had in my mind a mature (aged) bottle of _______________. (Take your pick: Bordeaux, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Cabernet Sauvignon, Brunello, etc.) I would NEVER throw that into an ice bucket, or pour it into a frozen glass. The wine is well-aged, and that sort of "thermal shock" will shut it down and, perhaps, ruin it.

                                                                  Now, on the other hand, were we speaking of a young Beaujolais, young Merlot, even a young Cabernet -- that would present little of no problem . . .

                                                                  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\

                                                                  FWIW, I do not use a thermometer, and I, too, have asked restaurants for an ice bucket for reds, and rarely for whites.

                                                                  Cheers,
                                                                  Jason

                                                                  1. re: zin1953
                                                                    c
                                                                    creamsherry Jul 22, 2012 11:48 PM

                                                                    thx for the post...I guess there is nothing wrong with my habit of never chilling or fridging them(I like reds more too which might be a coincidence//not sure)

                                                                    1. re: creamsherry
                                                                      z
                                                                      zin1953 Jul 23, 2012 01:07 PM

                                                                      Certainly not if you like them that way . . . .

                                                                      I also have the "benefit" of having my wines stored in a cool place, and when I pull an older bottle from the cellar, it already *is* cooler-than-ambient temperature.

                                                                      1. re: zin1953
                                                                        c
                                                                        creamsherry Jul 23, 2012 03:23 PM

                                                                        that's a good point and ideal. I don't have that luxury but do have a cellar so I should probably work something out sometime.

                                                            2. c
                                                              ctl98 Jul 29, 2011 07:24 AM

                                                              My general rule is take whites out of the fridge for 20 minutes before serving, and place reds in the fridge 20 minutes before serving. This allows the whites to warm down a bit and the reds to cool up a little bit. I read somewhere in the past, and have been doing it regularly. Works like a charm each time.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: ctl98
                                                                z
                                                                zin1953 Jul 29, 2011 07:27 AM

                                                                Yup!

                                                                1. re: ctl98
                                                                  invinotheresverde Jul 29, 2011 01:16 PM

                                                                  Exactly this.

                                                                  1. re: ctl98
                                                                    Fowler Aug 2, 2011 07:27 AM

                                                                    "and place reds in the fridge 20 minutes before serving."

                                                                    Hi, how warm is your cellar? Mine is around 55 so I always have to let my reds warm up. To each his/her own though.

                                                                    1. re: Fowler
                                                                      thew Aug 2, 2011 07:54 AM

                                                                      my "cellar" is the temperature of my apartment, as it is a wine rack by the dining room table

                                                                      1. re: thew
                                                                        c
                                                                        ctl98 Aug 12, 2011 04:42 PM

                                                                        same here!

                                                                    2. re: ctl98
                                                                      Veggo Aug 12, 2011 04:34 PM

                                                                      Another vote for the 20-20 rule. There is no 55 degree cellar in Florida, just machinery.

                                                                    3. Bill Hunt Jul 29, 2011 08:50 PM

                                                                      Personally, I feel that too many restaurants (especially in the US) serve their reds too warm (and their whites too cold).

                                                                      Even at some really major restaurants, I have been encountering too many, too cold whites, and that is NOT just in the US.

                                                                      I more often ask for an ice-bucket for reds (especially PN's), than for my whites, that are usually left on the table.

                                                                      Still, that is just me, and my preferences. Others might feel differently.

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                        j
                                                                        josephnl Aug 12, 2011 04:11 PM

                                                                        Hunt, you're absolutely right. Many restaurants serve their red wines at room temperature which is frequently 75 degrees or so...and often warmer. Most red wines are more drinkable at "cellar temperature" which is generally considered to be about 65 degrees. For this reason, we often ask restaurants to put our bottle of red wine into an ice bucket for 10 minutes or so.

                                                                        I also agree that white wines are often served too cold. Although I do like crisper whites such as a sauvignon blanc to be quite chilled, a rich, buttery chardonnay tastes better to me, if not too cold.

                                                                        1. re: josephnl
                                                                          Bill Hunt Aug 12, 2011 07:57 PM

                                                                          Yes, many SB's can stand a bit of cool, and I will chill those in the 'fridge, for a short period, though not all.

                                                                          For me, "cellar temp" is between 55F and 57F, but then one must consider the ambient air temp in AZ, which can be a bit higher. That can work to one's advantage, or maybe not. With the misters going, we are usually between 75F and 85F on the patio, regardless of the temp beyond the mist.

                                                                          If needed, I have chillers handy, or my hands, if I need to warm a wine up a tad.

                                                                          In restaurants (I used to state "US restaurants, but have changed that lately), I will more often chill reds, than whites.

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                      2. s
                                                                        Simon Aug 1, 2011 08:55 PM

                                                                        yes.

                                                                        Not only are reds in the US served too warm, most restaurants also do not store the bottles correctly...go to 9 out of 10 casual Italian restaurants in NYC in the summer and you'll see their next day or two supply of reds stored in the main restaurant/bar area, not in a cellar...that means that these wines bake w/o AC during off hours or 24/7 for places w/ open windows/al-fresco seating...

                                                                        Could be worse though: i've been to an Italian place where they kept the dinner time wine in the same area as the pizza oven...

                                                                        Another pet peeve of mine: restaurants that do not even chill their Beaujolais and other reds which are especially meant to be chilled...even many French restaurants in NYC do not seem to have a clue about this...

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Simon
                                                                          Bill Hunt Aug 1, 2011 09:00 PM

                                                                          Recently, we dined at two Italian restaurants, where the reds were stored near the ceiling, and over the stoves. What were they thinking?

                                                                          Hunt

                                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                            s
                                                                            Simon Aug 1, 2011 09:05 PM

                                                                            ugh...and, if you really want to get angry, think about how that same restaurant is probably charging 4x retail or more for each glass of that pre-boiled red...

                                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                              ipsedixit Aug 1, 2011 09:06 PM

                                                                              Recently, we dined at two Italian restaurants, where the reds were stored near the ceiling, and over the stoves. What were they thinking?
                                                                              _________________

                                                                              They weren't.

                                                                          2. d
                                                                            Dave_in_PA Aug 2, 2011 07:33 AM

                                                                            yes.

                                                                            I tell all my friends that the "red wine at room temperature" rule was made in an English castle. I tell everybody "cellar temperature" is a better guideline.

                                                                            Room temp in a hot restaurant is just wrong.

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Dave_in_PA
                                                                              Bill Hunt Aug 2, 2011 05:57 PM

                                                                              That is much closer to what was intended. A stone mansion/castle runs about 60F, while most cellars are 53F to 57F- pretty close. A natural cave, with no thermal activity will usually be right at 59F.

                                                                              In AZ, by the time that I walk upstairs (most often), or to the patio table (almost as often), the 55F from my cellar has become 60F. If I need more "heat," I just use my hands. Now, I more often use those with whites, in restaurants.

                                                                              Think that I might have mentioned this in another, similar thread. Dined at a lovely San Francisco restaurant, and on the wine list, besides many higher-end white Burgs and some upper-level US Chards, they had "(Served at cellar temp.)" I did not recall those entries from when I dined with them some years ago, and expressed appreciation for both their care, and for notifying some other diners, who might expect all whites to be served at 33F.

                                                                              Hunt

                                                                              1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                thew Aug 3, 2011 04:58 AM

                                                                                i dont thin k "intended" is the right word. it was that temperature because that was the temperature they had, not because they intended it......

                                                                                1. re: thew
                                                                                  Bill Hunt Aug 11, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                                                  The "intended" referenced "room temperature." Maybe I should have done a block quote... oh wait, this forum does not do block quotes.Yes, it was what they had, but then the term was coined, and that was my reference.

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                            2. MidCoastMaineiac Aug 2, 2011 07:44 AM

                                                                              "Room Temperature" generally means somewhere between 68-72 degrees F. Which is different than "Temperature in the room where the red wine is stored". That can definitely be too warm.

                                                                              Generally speaking, it depends on the red wine. Some reds should be served at what they call "Cellar temperature"...around 55 degrees F. That would include reds made from Gamay (the primary grape in Beaujolais) among others.

                                                                              Matt Kramer had a good write up on just that topic in this month's Wine Spectator. Can't link to it via the website though...at least not yet...

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: MidCoastMaineiac
                                                                                MidCoastMaineiac Aug 2, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                                If you're a member, here's the article:

                                                                                http://www.winespectator.com/magazine...

                                                                              2. c
                                                                                cgarner Aug 11, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                This conversation caught my eye… I was at a restaurant where the wine was served in a glass that had just come from the dishwasher.. the glass itself was quite warm to the touch and the wine was warmed above the temperature in the room… what a way to ruin any red! We already were having a bad experience at that place, so I threw some ice cubes in the wine and used my husband’s empty water glass to pour the wine into.
                                                                                When the waiter came back, we told him the wine was warm and he apologized, but didn’t really seem to care.
                                                                                I’m sure seeing ice cubes in a water glass of red wine probably made him think I didn’t know what the heck I was talking about, but I’m also one of those people who believes that you should drink wine the way you like it. My husband actually prefers all red wines to be served colder than usual… that’s his preference I can’t tell him he’s “wrong” because he likes cold red wine.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: cgarner
                                                                                  Bill Hunt Aug 11, 2011 07:08 PM

                                                                                  I often have the opposite issue - white wines served too cold.

                                                                                  Two of United Airlines Red Carpet Clubs/Int'l. First Lounge, have premium wines, and they serve their whites in chilled glasses! I know about those two, so know to ask for the red wine glasses, at "room temp." At the PHX RCC, the bartenders know that I want the larger-bowl glasses, though they do not chill the smaller ones. At some other clubs, or ones new to me, I have to keep my eyes open, to see what is happening.

                                                                                  Hunt

                                                                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                                                    s
                                                                                    Simon Aug 11, 2011 09:16 PM

                                                                                    sounds like an outtake scene from George Clooney's film "Up In The Air" ;)

                                                                                    but yes, true, many American restaurants ridiculously seem to think white wine should be served at the same temp as ice cream...(though it could be worse: in Japan i've been served red Bordeaux nearly frozen)...

                                                                                    1. re: Simon
                                                                                      Bill Hunt Aug 12, 2011 08:00 PM

                                                                                      Ah, "Up in the Air." I related on several levels, except that I am happily married, so that aspect does not relate.

                                                                                      Like G.Cloony's character, I am a point collector, and hope to do my 1M miles, before I die. My wife will beat me to that, but I can understand. She will also hit 1M, before I do, but not by much.

                                                                                      Hunt

                                                                                      1. re: Simon
                                                                                        j
                                                                                        josephnl Aug 16, 2011 10:26 PM

                                                                                        At a diner in Kansas, I was once served a glass of red wine poured over ice. The waitress' apology..."whoever stocked the fridge last night only put white wine in...all the red wine was just sitting on the shelf"!

                                                                                        1. re: josephnl
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          cgarner Aug 17, 2011 09:28 AM

                                                                                          +1 hilarious josephnl

                                                                                  2. i
                                                                                    Isolda Aug 12, 2011 10:33 AM

                                                                                    We've started chilling our reds, too, especially since our house is not air-conditioned and can get pretty hot in the summer. There was a restaurant in Boston, years ago, that served red wine practically hot. We joked that it was stored on a shelf above the stove. The turnover was high and we were ordering less expensive wines, so we'd just ask for a glass of ice to go with it, then we'd drop ice cubes into our glasses on an as-needed basis. Obviously, this made the wine slightly watery, but it tasted much better than the 85 degree stuff, which might have been better if they'd dropped in some sugar and cardamom and just called it mulled wine.

                                                                                    1. j
                                                                                      josephnl Aug 12, 2011 04:00 PM

                                                                                      A few years ago I was dining in at the bar at Bouchon in the Napa Valley, and a very prominent wine maker was sitting next to me. She knew the bartender and brought in a very special bottle of wine to share with him. Upon taking the first sip, she declared it too warm and had him chill it for 10 minutes or so before drinking more. She even admitted to me (in a whisper) that at home or with close friends, if she is impatient, she has been known to add a cube to a glass of red wine...horrors!

                                                                                      1. p
                                                                                        pickypicky Aug 28, 2011 11:50 AM

                                                                                        I believe part of the cool-red-wine thing is a wine snobbery born out of tradition-- like holding a wine glass properly. To serve red wine at cellar temp means you HAVE a cellar or know what cellar temp is. I feel very powerful when I send wine glasses back that are spotted or stinky. . .so I can understand the woman winemaker in Bouchon lording her request. (The young woman sommelier at Bouchon was one of the best I've ever encountered).

                                                                                        One reason I do not prefer my red wines cooler is that I adore the process of smelling the wine. All wines become more aromatic as they warm. I also prefer a buttery chardonnay even though it is out of fashion.

                                                                                        So somewhere in this debate is a middle ground. Yes, there are proper wine protocols meant to maximize the wine drinking experience. But there also is room for personal preference.

                                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: pickypicky
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          josephnl Aug 28, 2011 12:53 PM

                                                                                          I also like buttery chardonnays. I didn't realize they were "out of fashion". The folks at Far Niente, Bernardus, ZD and Merryvale must not have gotten the word! Some of their best are pretty darn buttery with just the right amount of oak.

                                                                                          1. re: josephnl
                                                                                            z
                                                                                            zin1953 Aug 28, 2011 01:09 PM

                                                                                            Winemaking, along with consumer preferences, move like a pendulum . . .

                                                                                          2. re: pickypicky
                                                                                            z
                                                                                            zin1953 Aug 28, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                                                            While, admittedly, I have not gone back through this entire thread and re-read every post, I do not recall anyone suggesting that red wines be served so thoroughly chilled as to deaden the wine's aroma or bouquet.

                                                                                            But have we not, throughout this thread, spoken of personal preference being paramount?

                                                                                            Cheers,
                                                                                            Jason

                                                                                            1. re: pickypicky
                                                                                              Bill Hunt Aug 28, 2011 07:37 PM

                                                                                              I would disagree. I think that it is born of people, enjoying wines in a certain temp range, and nothing more. Whether you agree, or disagree, is you choice. It has zero to do with any form of "snobbery," but only personal preferences, even if they differ from yours.

                                                                                              Enjoy,

                                                                                              Hunt

                                                                                              1. re: pickypicky
                                                                                                r
                                                                                                Rella Aug 28, 2011 08:21 PM

                                                                                                I like to drink red wines at room temperature because I, too, adore the process of smelling the wine. And when the red wine is cooler I feel that I have to swish it around in my mouth before I swallow it. Makes me feel like a wine taster not knowing yet how to spit. In the case of cooler wines, perhaps this could make the wine last longer for me leading to more enjoyment, I don't know.

                                                                                                I'm thinking of trying the 20 minutes in the frig, then 20 minutes out; but I forgot already, is the glass room temperature?

                                                                                                1. re: Rella
                                                                                                  j
                                                                                                  josephnl Aug 28, 2011 09:49 PM

                                                                                                  With our nicer red wines, I think we enjoy the best of both world when we drink them at home. We generally chill them in the frig to ~60-65 (I'm guessing, we don't actually use a thermometer). We then decant them and keep them on the table. So they start out at ~65, but by the end of the meal, they are probably at room temperature which is ~72 or so in our home.

                                                                                                2. re: pickypicky
                                                                                                  ChefJune Sep 22, 2011 01:38 PM

                                                                                                  <a wine snobbery born out of tradition-- like holding a wine glass properly>

                                                                                                  I disagree that holding a wine glass properly has anything to do with "snobbery." When the hand is on the cup of the glass, the wine gets warmed up -- sometimes to the point that it becomes unpleasant. But perhaps that's just me.

                                                                                                  I also love smelling a great wine, but there definitely is a point at which the wine becomes too warm to drink.

                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                    z
                                                                                                    zin1953 Sep 22, 2011 04:21 PM

                                                                                                    Agreed . . . on all counts.

                                                                                                    1. re: ChefJune
                                                                                                      JAB Sep 23, 2011 09:53 AM

                                                                                                      I disagree as well for an entirely different reason. When the hand is on the the cup / bowl of the glass oils etc... can transfer and make it pretty unsightly where holding the stem...

                                                                                                      1. re: JAB
                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Sep 23, 2011 08:11 PM

                                                                                                        Several writers have made that same point.

                                                                                                        However, if a wine is too cold, then I take fingerprints, over the tastes being occluded. Just personal preferences.

                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                                    budnball Aug 29, 2011 11:31 AM

                                                                                                    As the Op I have been trying a few things and find that some reds like cool more than others. for me, Pinot Noir and Cab Franc seem to like a bit of cooling, Cabs, Zins and Merlots seem to open up a bit warmer. Of course all of this is relative. Also, to me at least, the higher alcohol level, the warmer it needs to be.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: budnball
                                                                                                      j
                                                                                                      josephnl Aug 29, 2011 12:44 PM

                                                                                                      In general, lighter red wines such as some pinot noir and beaujolais are more enjoyable to many of us at cooler temperatures than would say an aged, full bodied cab. Indeed, one wine that I enjoy a lot with lighter foods when it's especially hot is a Brouilly a rather light beaujolais that is frequently served very chilled...almost cold, and is delicious this way.

                                                                                                      1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 29, 2011 07:42 PM

                                                                                                        In general, I agree completely. However, I find that if higher ABV is involved, and it certainly is with some of the wines that I like, too warm a serving temp will amplify the ABV.

                                                                                                        Again, personal tastes,

                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                      2. re: budnball
                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 29, 2011 07:41 PM

                                                                                                        "Also, to me at least, the higher alcohol level, the warmer it needs to be."

                                                                                                        This is where you and I will likely differ, but then, that is personal taste. While I do agree that PN, certain Grenache wines, and Gamay, as for instances, do like a slight chill, I also find that a high alcohol Zin, a Syrah, etc., will likely benefit a bit too. In very general terms (again, my tastes), a Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot, Malbec, well not so much. However, most of my current examples are not THAT high in alcohol, so there could well be other examples, where I would feel just the opposite.

                                                                                                        At the end of the day, when we grab for a glass of wine, it's about what I like, or what you like. Right now, I am doing an OZ Grenache, that was chilled a tad too much (leftover from late last night), and it was highly occluded, upon first sip. It has now warmed in the AZ evening air (misters going full-tilt), but is still "coolish," and is drinking wonderfully right now. For a Grenache, it's a tad higher in alcohol, and last night, at about 68F, tasted a bit "hot." Tonight, that is not the case.

                                                                                                        Most of all, enjoy,

                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                      3. c
                                                                                                        creamsherry Sep 17, 2011 02:45 AM

                                                                                                        20/20 maybe, but I will Never put my older, vintage reds in the fridge unless of course some 'experts' showed me the light on this one.

                                                                                                        It should be noted my wine cellar is a wine bedroom closet, but I double bag all my wines and store them as wine should be stored: at a slight angle where the cork is wet and there are no vibrations or natural light sources. My tempertaure fluctuation is very minimal no matter what the season, but my temp is higher than recommended(say 70ish). I do wish I could do better than that, but it is what it is for now and I still would be nervous about chilling my "better" wine whether right or wrong. Pretty much I let them stand up straight 24-25hrs to help w/sediment, and then I let them breathe a couple hours or less but I am researching this to see if this is wrong also. Decanting is great, but sometimes I just drink the sediment and it hasn't killed me yet. I read an article about how the sediment has many ingredients that people pay for in DR prescriptions; it claimed the sediment is actually good for you. Either way, decanting can be fun + sometimes taste is more important. I actually would appreciate it if someone 'picked this apart' because I am trying to learn proper techniques in a house with small children & a wife who doesn't give a damn except for the fact that I hijacked the bedroom closet...

                                                                                                        26 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                          j
                                                                                                          josephnl Sep 17, 2011 11:23 AM

                                                                                                          Why would you hesitate to briefly chill your older reds in a refrigerator if indeed you would prefer drinking them at a cooler temperature than the 70 degrees at which you say they are stored. Are you afraid of "shocking" them with the abrupt temperature change. I have never seen any scientific evidence that you can produce any chemical change in wine by chilling it briefly. If you prefer drinking your reds at 65 degrees or whatever, let me suggest you do yourself a favor and do a simple test. Open one of your special bottles about an hour before drinking it, decant half off and put it into the fridge...then when it has reached the desired temperature compare it with the unchilled portion. I've done this...and will pretty much guarantee that you will prefer the cooler portion of the wine. I know...I've heard this story about "shocking" wine from some knowledgeable wine experts, but I personally cannot buy it. Your own taste buds will tell you which you prefer. Try it!

                                                                                                          1. re: josephnl
                                                                                                            c
                                                                                                            creamsherry Sep 17, 2011 06:00 PM

                                                                                                            I will try the test sometime + thanks for the advice.

                                                                                                          2. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                            z
                                                                                                            zin1953 Sep 17, 2011 11:40 AM

                                                                                                            One would HOPE that -- for example -- you wouldn't NEED to put your 1953 Château Latour, or your 1964 Château Cheval Blanc in the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving. One would hope your cellar conditions for your older wines is stable enough AND cool enough that this wouldn't be necessary.

                                                                                                            Generally speaking, by the time people get "into" what is often described as "older vintage reds," they are generally more "serious" about how they store their wines -- this presumes, of course, that we are talking about more than one or two bottles someone received as a present.

                                                                                                            >>> . . . sometimes taste is more important."

                                                                                                            When is taste NOT most important???

                                                                                                            1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                              creamsherry Sep 17, 2011 05:58 PM

                                                                                                              I prefer consuming the bottles in various ways instead of always following protocol for taste(example: decanting to rid the sediment).

                                                                                                              1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                creamsherry Sep 17, 2011 06:02 PM

                                                                                                                I guess I am still learning my preferred tastes.

                                                                                                                1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                  z
                                                                                                                  zin1953 Sep 18, 2011 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                  Doesn't one's taste continue to evolve, change, develop over time (and experience)?

                                                                                                                2. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                  z
                                                                                                                  zin1953 Sep 18, 2011 08:01 AM

                                                                                                                  Please. I'm not trying to be difficult. Truly. But can you explain what "consuming the bottles in various ways" actually means? I mean, all wine is consumed by putting it in one's mouth, isn't it? (And if it's ingested in some other way -- I've changed my mind: DON'T tell me!)

                                                                                                                  1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                    Bill Hunt Sep 20, 2011 08:39 PM

                                                                                                                    Now, maybe one could rig up an IV bag and appropriate tubes and connections, but that would bypass all "normal" reasons to consume a wine.

                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                  2. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                    Bill Hunt Sep 20, 2011 08:38 PM

                                                                                                                    Does this mean that you enjoy the lees, i.e. the sediment, or am I missing something important here?

                                                                                                                    Hunt

                                                                                                                  3. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                    creamsherry Sep 18, 2011 01:36 AM

                                                                                                                    I own no less than eighty bottles(I think exactly eighty), but that is far from the amount of vintage wines I own let alone the amount of older vintages I have. I do try to usually buy the vintages if possible though; I like having the different years. I also prefer red wines, but I pretty much buy everything from reds, whites, fortifieds, sparklings, etc.

                                                                                                                    1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                      z
                                                                                                                      zin1953 Sep 18, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                                                                                      Uh, OK -- not I am REALLY confused.

                                                                                                                      >>> I own no less than eighty bottles(I think exactly eighty), but that is far from the amount of vintage wines I own let alone the amount of older vintages I have. <<<

                                                                                                                      You own exactly 80 bottles, but that number is far from the amount of wine you own?!?!?

                                                                                                                      Perhaps something has gotten "lost in translation," as they say -- but I have no idea what you are saying here.

                                                                                                                      >>> I do try to usually buy the vintages if possible though; I like having the different years. <<<

                                                                                                                      How can you AVOID having different years? I mean, wine is an agricultural product, and after all of the grapes from the 2023 harvest are crushed, fermented and have begun their barrel aging (for example), the 2024 harvest comes around and then the 2025 . . . eventually these wines are sold, and MOST of them will indeed be sold as vintage-dated wines (e.g.: the 2023 Chateau Cache Phloe Cabernet Sauvignon -- when it is sold out, the winery will release the 2024 Chateau Cache Phloe Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by the 2025.)

                                                                                                                      Now I certainly admit that there are NON-vintage wines out there -- especially in the world of Sherry, where some soleras are particularly (and justifiably) famous for their output -- all without a vintage date. But since the title of this thread is "Are RED wines served too warm?", I didn't think fortified wines were a part of the discussion . . .

                                                                                                                      1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                        c
                                                                                                                        creamsherry Sep 18, 2011 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                        Yes, my tastes are still developing and/or I am still finding out my likes. Yes, this is usually true for most anyone.

                                                                                                                        main point of reply: I own 80 wine bottles of various types, ages, and quality and they are all being stored. I am not sure if I was using incorrect terminology or not. What I was trying to get at was that not all my wines have a vintage year on the bottle. Hence, they are non-vintage I guess(examples: my imported Riunite and my Californian Burgundy). That is what I meant - I was referring to my bottles with no vintage year on the label. I usually try to purchase wines with a vintage year on the label.

                                                                                                                        "....and MOST of them will indeed be sold as vintage-dated wines (e.g.: the 2023 Chateau Cache Phloe Cabernet Sauvignon -- when it is sold out, the winery will release the 2024 Chateau Cache Phloe Cabernet Sauvignon, followed by the 2025.)"

                                                                                                                        They might sell out but I am correct in my thinking that the 2024 as an example will all be harvested from that exact vintage year of 2024 in it's entirety, correct? I understand LBV(late bottled vintage) like in ports as an example, but the way you worded that last part threw me off.

                                                                                                                        1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                          c
                                                                                                                          creamsherry Sep 18, 2011 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                          I reread your three replies. I am not sure why you were unable to understand what I was saying, Zin. ...various bottles consumed....I was reiterating the point I made about not always decanting my older wines that usually deem decanting. Basically, it is fun to try different things. Also, if they aren't vintage, they are obviously non-vintage. Thank you for your replies.

                                                                                                                          1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                            Bill Hunt Sep 20, 2011 08:46 PM

                                                                                                                            Jason is not alone here. I, too, am also having trouble following along, even upon re-reading the posts.

                                                                                                                            Tastes DO develop, and usually over time. That is very common, and most here have gone through the same thing. What I enjoyed in 1976 might not play so well today, but that is life. I do have some wines from a previous time, and some just do not bring me the same enjoyment, that they did decades ago. Such is life, and also personal tastes in wines. OTOH, I do have some wines from 1976, that I still enjoy greatly - maybe more so, though not always, than when they were young and fresh, but that depends on the wine.

                                                                                                                            I do not feel that Jason is trying to be difficult here, but that the points are going over a few heads, mine included.

                                                                                                                            Hunt

                                                                                                                          2. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                            z
                                                                                                                            zin1953 Sep 18, 2011 10:11 PM

                                                                                                                            >>> What I was trying to get at was that not all my wines have a vintage year on the bottle . . . . if they aren't vintage, they are obviously non-vintage. <<<

                                                                                                                            People often use the word "vintage" in two radically different ways: one is literal (the 2024 Cache Phloe Cabernet Sauvignon, for example); and one is an an adjective to describe wine of a particular age, in the same way one might speak of a "vintage car." for example. When you wrote, "I own no less than eighty bottles(I think exactly eighty), but that is far from the amount of vintage wines I own let alone the amount of older vintages I have," it DID seem confusing -- still does in its original form.

                                                                                                                            >>> They might sell out but I am correct in my thinking that the 2024 as an example will all be harvested from that exact vintage year of 2024 in it's (sic) entirety, correct? <<<

                                                                                                                            The laws vary somewhat from country to country, but in the United States, the designation "vintage date" refers to the calendar year in which the grapes were *harvested,* not necessarily grown. A wine may be labeled with a vintage date if 95 percent of the grapes were harvested from a single year. This is as true for table wines as it would be for a Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) Porto, and the handful of vintage-dated Sherries produced in Jerez.

                                                                                                                            >>> . . . (examples: my imported Riunite and my Californian Burgundy). <<<

                                                                                                                            How long have you had your Riunite and California Burgundy? And which winery produced it, if you don't mind my asking . . . Generally speaking, these are wines that do NOT age very well.

                                                                                                                            >>> I usually try to purchase wines with a vintage year on the label. <<<

                                                                                                                            Again, generally speaking, that is a good idea. Most of the better TABLE wines (as opposed to sparkling and fortified wines) WILL carry a vintage date on the label. One exception, just to provide an example, is Vega Sicilia "Unico."

                                                                                                                            Cheers,
                                                                                                                            Jason

                                                                                                                            1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                              c
                                                                                                                              creamsherry Sep 18, 2011 11:00 PM

                                                                                                                              Thank you for your response, and that response did clear things up for me in a positive direction. I can also understand how that line does sound confusing too when I reread it a second time(the part about the eighty bottles). I will look for the info on the burgundy and the riunite when I can. I honestly don't even remember where the riunite is imported from, and I was just guessing the burgundy was California. I own two different burgundies. Yes, I also believe I have some great wines, but I also have wines 'cellared'("bedroomed") that aren't even supposed to be. I figured I'd have 4-5 years before it became an issue...?

                                                                                                                              1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                                z
                                                                                                                                zin1953 Sep 18, 2011 11:06 PM

                                                                                                                                >>> I figured I'd have 4-5 years before it became an issue...? <<<

                                                                                                                                Some wines are best when first bottled; others in a year or two; some after 5, 10, or perhaps 25 years . . . it all depends upon the ***specific*** wine, and this matters not if it is red or white.

                                                                                                                                1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                  creamsherry Sep 18, 2011 11:30 PM

                                                                                                                                  now, even if it is best after 1-2 years let's say, the wine will still be ok in 4-5 right? I realize this isn't the smartest way to go about it, but hypothetically speaking?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                                    z
                                                                                                                                    zin1953 Sep 19, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                                                                                    AGAIN, it depends upon the wine . . . some wines will be OTH (over-the-hill) after four or fine years of age; it depends upon the SPECIFIC wine.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                                      c
                                                                                                                                      creamsherry Sep 19, 2011 11:00 AM

                                                                                                                                      I know we're not wines, but as humans mature and/or endup over-the-hill, it is a slow transition. We might be better in our prime, but we still kick just fine for decades after the fact. Some wines to decades &considerably longer to mature too.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                                        Bill Hunt Sep 20, 2011 08:59 PM

                                                                                                                                        With wines, the decline can be slow, or can be very rapid. As Jason said, it depends on the "specific wine."

                                                                                                                                        Some people feel that all red wines are better with age. IMHO, some are, but many are not. It all depends on the specific wine, and the storage conditions of those wines.

                                                                                                                                        With wines, and with wine consumers, there are not that many "absolutes." It usually boils down to "personal tastes." I love a well-aged white Burg, like many Meursaults and Montrachets, but my wife likes them younger and fresher - in most, general cases. I order accordingly, or bring up from my cellar, accordingly.

                                                                                                                                        Compared to some posters in this thread, I like my reds a bit cooler, and most whites a bit warmer, but that is just me. We were just at a very high-end restaurant in Hawai`i last week, and one near-by table had a young lady putting ice cubes in her white wine - a US Chardonnay, while I was cupping my glass to warm up my white wine - a FR Chardonnay. Who was right? My answer would be - each of us, based on personal tastes (with perhaps a nod to the individual wines).

                                                                                                                                        Over the decades, I have lost many bottles of wine, both red and white, when I thought that each would be better with proper-cellared age, only to find that I was wrong. OTOH, I have been pleasantly surprised, when I found some older bottles, expecting the worst, to find that they were delightful. Who knew? Obviously, I did not.

                                                                                                                                        Enjoy,

                                                                                                                                        Hunt

                                                                                                                              2. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                                c
                                                                                                                                creamsherry Sep 19, 2011 12:42 PM

                                                                                                                                I bought the France imported Burgundy 750ml and the California Reserve Livingston Cellar 1.5l in AUG2011. I also bought the Riunite non-vintage the same month. is that Chile or Australia? I couldn't find the Riunite but I found my 1.5 liter 2010 Malbec "Cuyo - Argentina" where I thought the Riunite was(I didn't want to go rummaging; I have things organized pretty good but unfortunately not near enough). I bought the import because I like Burgundy, so I had to have both - I am guessing 2007 but I am not sure where that one is either. I like 750ml bottles, but I did read that the bigger bottles "last" longer due to their volume? Also, the Malbec was bought in AUG2011. Truth be told: I spent 2-2.5 grand on my collection all during the summer of 2011. Most were bought in Aug and some were bought in Sept. Before that I did not have a wine cellar(bedroom closet).

                                                                                                                                1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                                  z
                                                                                                                                  zin1953 Sep 19, 2011 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                  Riunite is a Lambrusco from Italy, and generally sells for <$10 or so. It is meant for immediate consumption.

                                                                                                                                  Livingston Cellars is one of the many labels produced by E. & J. Gallo, based in Modesto, California. There are 13 different wines bottled under the "Livingston Cellars" label -- most are generics, but they do have some varietal wines as well. While 1-2 years in the bottle should not hurt the reds, these, too, are meant for early consumption.

                                                                                                                                  What sort of French Burgundy do you have? Over 99 percent of all Burgundy wines from France are vintage dated. When it comes to true French Burgundies -- which have NOTHING in common with a California generic "burgundy," by the way; totally different wines -- some are meant for early consumption, some can age 5, 10, or even 25 years or more depending upon the SPECIFIC appellation and SPECIFIC producer.

                                                                                                                                  Cheers,
                                                                                                                                  Jason

                                                                                                                                  1. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                                    c
                                                                                                                                    creamsherry Sep 19, 2011 07:51 PM

                                                                                                                                    I will try to find the Burgundy and it is definately a vintage. I did want to ask about a couple of bottles given to me within a yrs time: a chocovine and an eggnog. I have not heard good things about the first, but I don't like to discard any kind of spirits, beer, or wines if I don't have to. I don't think it had a cork, but I stored with my wine(in the section of the redflags//I can be more specific about that). The eggnog and choco were stored upright in a cool, dark place but they are old. ...trying to get to the point...they are old but unopened. can they be consumed or can the choco be consumed since their might be dairy involved? I am just curious about the chemical, dangerous portion of this question. Sorry to go off tangent. They look fine and obviously would have to pass the smell test. but I have found most wines/spirits that are airtight do ok. Only the ones that have been tainted by bacteria at bottling have ever thrown me off: the ones that literally smell like sewage and no one ion the right mind would consume. I want to know if I should discard said items, but basically the technical aspect: like what would happen if a homeless bum drank it JUST as an example. Thanks for the other reviews/knowledge! How is the Malbec I mentioned? I am figuring it is made to be drank young too but an it be aged?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: creamsherry
                                                                                                                                      z
                                                                                                                                      zin1953 Sep 19, 2011 11:20 PM

                                                                                                                                      a) Generally speaking, I would start a NEW TOPIC if you information on wines that you own, as we've drifted too far afield already.

                                                                                                                                      b) When asking about your wines, be as specific and detailed as possible. In other words . . .
                                                                                                                                      -- "Cabernet" is different from "Cabernet Sauvignon";
                                                                                                                                      -- "Cabernet Sauvignon" is different from "California Cabernet Sauvignon";
                                                                                                                                      -- "California Cabernet Sauvignon" is different from "Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon";
                                                                                                                                      -- "Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon" is different from "Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District";
                                                                                                                                      -- "Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District" is different from "Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Fay Vineyard";
                                                                                                                                      -- "Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Fay Vineyard" is different from "Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Fay Vineyard";
                                                                                                                                      -- "Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Fay Vineyard" is different from "2025 "Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, Stags Leap District, Fay Vineyard".

                                                                                                                                    2. re: zin1953
                                                                                                                                      invinotheresverde Sep 20, 2011 07:51 AM

                                                                                                                                      To add a bit to what Jason has already said:

                                                                                                                                      The vast, vast, VAST majority of wines in general (95%+) are not meant to be aged and should be drank as close to release as possible. The Riunite, Livingston Cellars and Cuyo all fall under that category. Drink 'em up ASAP.

                                                                                                                                      Price is not always an indicator, but it is rare to find anything that benefits from much age in the <$10 category. If you start a new thread and list some of your wines, we could assist you with which to drink v. hold.

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