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Wine 101: Finding the right temperature for your wine

An expert shares tips for storing and serving your favorite vintages--not too hot, not too cold, but just right!


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Drinking wine is easy, but finding the right temperature at which to store and serve it is a little trickier! That's why we enlisted the help of Jody Bogle of Bogle Vineyards in Clarksburg.

Jody says heat is one of wine's biggest enemies. Storing bottles at temperatures above 70 degrees can "cook" your wine, which affects both taste and aroma. Conversely, you want to avoid the other extreme because air becomes dry at cooler temperatures, which can cause corks to shrink and wine to leak.

Ideally, you want to store your wine at temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees, and you want to keep the temperature consistent. Too much fluctuation can cause a wine's flavor to change when served and, as Jody says, "it will dumb down the wine"—meaning the wine's intended nuances will be dulled.

Speaking of serving, the most common misconception with red wine is that it is ideal at room temperature. In fact, Jody says serving it cool is the best way to enjoy it. She recommends placing the bottle in the fridge an hour before serving it.

As for white wine, place it in the fridge immediately after buying it. However, if you buy it the same day you want to drink it, you can leave it in the fridge for several hours or place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. As a rule, the lighter the wine is in color and style, the colder it should be served in order to maintain its freshness.

Jody also recommends taking a wine out of the fridge, pouring a glass, putting the wine back in the fridge and letting the glass come up to room temperature (about 15 minutes) before serving.


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