Storing and Serving Wine
Tips on how to store and serve wine.
We’ve all heard that red wine should be served at room temperature, and that white, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines should be refrigerated before serving. We’ve also heard that white wine should be served is smaller glasses, red wine in bigger glasses, and whatever happened to those large flat champagne glasses from the early 1900’s? Most of the old rules for storage and service of wine still apply, we just need to update them a little to reflect our modern lifestyle.
Saying that red wine should be served at room temperature is an old rule from a time before central air or central heat. “Room temperature” today is usually warmer than what was considered room temperature when this golden rule was coined. The same goes for chilling or refrigerating wine. Again, a chilled wine could have meant being served directly from a cellar at a cool 10 degrees Celsius – not served fresh out of the fridge at a near freezing 3 degrees Celsius. So how can you know at what temperature to serve which wines? Well, we’ve done the research for you! Below is a list of guidelines on how wine should be stored and served to help you get the most flavour and longevity from your wines.
If you don’t have a wine fridge, these exact temperatures can be hard to achieve. Our trick – take wine that you’ve been chilling in the fridge and let it stand at room temperature on the counter for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving. The same goes for wines you’ve been storing at room temperature, just the other way around – pop the bottle in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
The general rule for storing and ageing wine is that it should be stored in a temperature-controlled area and a constant temperature, away from direct sunlight and any heating or cooling vents. Wine sealed with corks should be stored on their side, whereas wine sealed with a screw cap may be stored standing up or lying down. Wine should not be stored in the fridge for long periods as the very cold temperature may cause the cork to dry out and recede, exposing the wine to oxygen and spoiling it. As a rule, the temperature for storing wine for long-term storage is between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius.
How to store an open bottle of wine
Once a bottle of wine is open, the best way to preserve its flavour and freshness is to replace the cork or cap and store it in the fridge. Wine will remain fresh for the first few days, and after 4 to 7 days it’s best to sample the wine before serving as it may have had too much contact with oxygen and spoiled. After 7 days, you’re better off discarding any of the leftover wine and opening a fresh bottle. If the wine was decanted before serving, it’s best to drink the wine within 12 hours.