The Single Biggest Wine Mistake Will Surprise You
Every detail counts, but particularly, every degree counts
Wine is by far the most complex and delicate drink around, so every detail truly counts. There are many tips and tricks that sommeliers, renowned wine writers, and leading figures in the wine industry give you when talking about how to enjoy the queen of beverages.
And one of those important details is the ideal serving temperature as it remains by far the biggest single mistake. Did you know that a Malbec has to be served at 64°F but a wine from the Banyuls area at 53°F? Or did you know that a Valpolicella is ideally served at 59°F? These are huge variables that make the difference between an average wine taste and a great wine experience!
Wine experts on the ideal wine temperature
To emphasize our point, we gathered some quotes from leading experts about serving wine at the right temperature. Yes, they all agree on how important it is to drink wine at the right temperature.
"I am obsessed with serving temperature. I can not stress enough the importance of temperature for the taste of wine." – top podcaster Elizabeth Schneider from ‘Wine For Normal People’
“Don’t throw your guests in the deeper end of the pool.”- Top-sommelier Sören Polonius
“Room temperature remains a classic mistake.” Award-winning sommelier Raimonds Tomsons
“Temperature - This is the single most important aspect of serving any wine. You can change completely how a wine tastes by serving it too cool or too warm." Jancis Robinson Obe, master of wine, wine journalist. Amelia Singer van The Wine Show
“The temperature of the wine in your glass can have a marked impact on the way it smells and tastes. If you don't believe me, try the same wine first at 59°F and then at 72°F. The fruit and the perfume will be more pronounced in the former, while in the latter, the alcohol will leap out of the glass and the flavors will seem jammy and indistinct.”- Tim Atkin
These include the choice of suitable glasses, aeration in advance (uncorking or decanting), and above all scrupulous respect for the ideal temperatures recommended for serving each of them. Knowing that, in a room at 68°F ambient temperature, they will gain 3.5°F in the glass in just a few minutes.”- Enrico Bernardo, world's best sommelier
“If you order by the glass you're out of luck as you'll get a pour from a bottle sitting on the bar whose temperature is 70°F or higher. You will pay the same price as the restaurants listed above. As Ryan Sutton would say, that's a bad deal.”- NY Eater review
“To enjoy wine at the proper temperature, you need to act in a counterintuitive manner: Chill your reds and warm your whites.”- Joseph Nase, New York Magazine
“Most people pour reds too warm and whites too cold. When a white is too cold, its aromas are harder to pick out, and it can seem more acidic. When a red is too warm, it sends up a steamy blast of alcohol, and the fruit gets lost.”- Michel Austin, The Pour Man, Chicago Tribune
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"Hi l am Wim, sommelier, and wine enthusiast just like you! My fellow sommeliers understand the importance of serving wine at the correct temperature. They know that if wine is too warm, it will lose its flavors and complexities, and if wine is served too cold, it will numb your taste buds. A few world renown sommeliers and myself will explain this further, and share some interesting (taste) case studies."