A wine company has claimed that most Australians are drinking their red wine too hot and their white wine too cold.
Local wine producer Taylors found eight out of 10 Aussies drink their red wines at room temperature – which was all wrong.
The problem is the average Australian ‘room temperature’, especially in summer, ranges between 22 and 24 degrees: too warm to appreciate a good shiraz, pinot noir or cabernet sauvignon.
Apparently the old advice of drinking wine at room temperature originates from medieval France, where rooms were closer to 14 degrees.
Taylors managing director Mitchell Taylor said temperature was vital to ensuring wine was enjoyed at its very best.
“It’s an issue that most wine lovers don’t know is having a massive impact on their enjoyment and appreciation of wine.”
And if the news on reds wasn’t bad enough, it turns out we have a similar problem with whites, which most of us are drinking too cold.
Getting the most out of your wine
Simon West, wine manager at retailer GraysOnline, agreed with the new research.
“We obviously do a lot of wine tastings, and often we have to try and warm up the whites a little bit with our hands,” he said.
Mr West said Australians were dulling the flavour of their whites by over-chilling them.
“The wine isn’t able to express itself as much if it’s too cold. You don’t get the fruits, you don’t get the true character.”
Similarly, Taylors said drinking a white straight from the fridge can over-pronounce its acidity.
According to Mr West, the ideal temperature for enjoying a glass of white was between eight and 10 degrees.
Head sommelier at Sydney restaurant Silvereye, James Audas, serves his whites at a cool six degrees.
For reds, he warned serving them too hot can result in a “stewed fruit” taste.
Mr Audas said Silvereye was one of the rare restaurants that refrigerates its reds.
“We don’t chill them, but we control their temperature to about 16 degrees,” he said.
“I definitely think Australians are drinking their wine at the wrong temperature.
“But I think restaurants are getting better.”
Reaching the right temperature
For those at home, Mr Audas admitted temperature-controlled fridges were not a likely purchase.
“A normal fridge is fine for whites, but just make sure you take them out a bit earlier,” he said.
Taylors chief winemaker Adam Eggins suggested putting reds in the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Mr Audas advised storing them in a cool cupboard away from sunlight, not just for serving temperature but for their longevity.
“People sometimes complain that their wines haven’t kept well and it’s often about where they’re storing them,” he said.
As for the other sins Australian wine drinkers commit, Mr West said he often “had a chuckle” when he saw someone drop ice cubes into their white on a hot day.
“Ice cubes are just going to dilute the taste of your wine,” he said.
“Use a slurry of water and ice cubes and drop the bottle in that instead – it’s really effective”.