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Ruby Hill Winery
July 2, 2021 | Ruby Hill Winery

Your Wine Needs to Chill

        As the weather heats up, more and more of us might be reaching for a crisp, cool white wine or a refreshing rosé for our summertime sipping. A mild evening might even call for a luscious glass of your favorite red. No matter the wine you’re drinking, it’s important to consider the temperature that you store and serve the wine. If this seems a little overwhelming, don’t worry. We’ve put together a guide of basics so you can enjoy your white wines, rosés, and yes, even reds, at their best. 

        Part of the magic of wine is the way it gets more delicious with time. This requires, however, that the bottle remain sealed, and relies on the integrity of the cork. The most significant enemies of wine storage are temperature fluctuations and excessive heat because they may cause wine to escape around the cork, or the cork to dry out and allow air to seep into the bottle. This causes a process called “oxidation” which spoils the experience of the wine. Similarly, too much heat for too long can also result in your wine tasting “cooked” which flattens the flavors and complexities of the wine. If we have made you nervous now, let us put you at ease. Wine isn’t delicate quite like an orchid or exotic plant and can hold up to some stress, but try to store your wine where it is happy, especially if you will be aging it. 

        Though there are a number of schools of thinking when it comes to the optimal storage temperature, the best compromise is about 55°F, or 13°C. If your storage runs colder or warmer than this, that’s okay; most wines store well anywhere between 45° and 65° F. If you don’t have a wine fridge or cellar, try to store your wines on their side in a box or cupboard, away from exterior walls and rooms that fluctuate in temperature. 

        When it comes time to serve the wine, there’s some easy tips to make your wine express its qualities perfectly. The most important distinction is between red and white wines. White wines (and rosés too) are generally best when cold. Temporary storage in the refrigerator before serving will help these wines shine as balanced, aromatic, and refreshing. Fuller-bodied white wines like our Reserve Chardonnay give the optimal sip as soon as the chill wears off, but before the wine reaches room temperature. Other wines, like our Wine of the Month, Grapeful Rosé, taste delicious when chilled and unfold with gorgeous aroma as the temperature rises a bit in the glass. 

        The aromas and structure of red wines, on the other hand, will be at their best when served around 60°, just under room temperature. Of course, red wines are enjoyable at a range of temperatures, partially due to the delicious diversity within red wines. Lighter bodied wines with higher acidity, like our Sangiovese, can actually benefit from a few minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Heavier-bodied, tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or Petite Sirah are perfectly enjoyable at a higher temp.

As a rule of thumb, try this for your summer sipping:
Light White Wines (like Sauvignon Blanc) - refrigerate 45 mins before serving
Fuller White Wines & Rosés (like Chardonnay or Grapeful Rosé) - refrigerate 30 mins before serving
Light-to-medium-bodied Reds (like Sangiovese) - refrigerate 15 min before serving
Heavier-bodied / tannic Reds (like Cabernet Sauvignon) - refrigerate 5-10 mins before serving. 

Remember, these are guidelines. Drinking wine is about enjoyment, so if you have a specific preference, go for it! If you want to experiment to find your favorite temperature, we've got a great sale for you! Our Wine of the Month is Grapeful Rosé—it's perfect for all your summer fun.



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