Know Your Limits – Our Guide to Wine Temperature
Posted on March 2nd, 2015
Wine thermometer, £27 from The Scandinavian Shop
Temperature can often be a bit of an afterthought when it comes to wine, but in order to get the most from your collection, you need to play to its strengths in order to release its true characteristics. The right temperature will enhance flavours and can help to make a good wine really great. Make sure you’re always serving up a treat with our handy guide:
So white wine is best served cold and red wine is best served warm, right? Well, yes, but it’s a little bit more complicated than that; wine served too cool will mask any flavour, while wine served too warm will taste too strongly of alcohol.
So what is the right temperature? Well this all depends on the type of wine you are serving. Fortified wines, such as port, will be fine at room temperature, while sparking wines are best at 4-8°C, rosé wines at 6-8°C, white wines at 5-12°C and red wines at 9-18°C. Take a look at our chart below for a more in depth look:
|Sweet white wine|
|Eiswein, Sweet Vouray||5-7°C|
|Classic Rosé, Tavel||6-8°C|
|Medium-sweet white wine|
|German table wine||6-8°C|
|New world Riesling and Gewürztraminer||10-12°C|
|Crisp, dry white wine|
|Loire Valley whites||6-8°C|
|Classic white wine|
|French Chablis, Chardonnay, White Burgundy||9-11°C|
|Graves, Viognier, Condrieu||9-11°C|
|Complex white wine|
|Light red wine|
|Côtes du Rhône||11-14°C|
|Classic red wine|
|Barbera, Chianti, Sangiovese||13-15°C|
|Young Bordeaux, Young Cabernet||14-16°C|
|Complex red wine|
|Red Burgundy, Pinot Noir||15-17°C|
|Barolo, Chianti Riserva||15-17°C|
|Full-bodied, mature red wine|
|Grand Cru Bordeaux, Mature California Cabernet||16-18°C|
Although a lot of emphasis is placed on serving wine at the right temperature, it’s also important to store it in the correct way. Your expensive bottles are unlikely to pass the test of time if they’re pushed to their extremes. Although wine can keep for decades in the right conditions, ultimately it is a perishable good. If wine reaches over 35°C, or falls below freezing, there will be an impact on its flavour and it may even become undrinkable. In order to store wine correctly for long periods of time, keep it at a stable temperature, ideally between around 8-15°C, and try to keep it away from light. This also goes for wines that are usually served cold, such as champagne; don’t be tempted to keep a bottle of bubbly in the fridge for a few months waiting for a special occasion, as you risk ruining its flavour.
If you’re concerned about the temperature of your wine storage, take a look at our wine cellar air conditioning units. They help create cellar conditions by ensuring wine is kept below 15°C. Don’t forget to also check out our full range of wine racks and cabinets for the perfect way to store your collection. If you’d like any help with your wine storage requirements, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to assist in any way that we can.
How to Choose the Perfect Wineglass
Posted on January 23rd, 2015
Set of two 45cl Essence red wine glasses, £27 from Bear & Bear
If you take wine seriously, you probably already know that there’s a lot more to enjoying it than simply pouring it into the first drinking vessel you can find. So why does the way we drink wine have such an impact on its flavour? The right glass will enhance the colour and aroma of your wine, making it an altogether more pleasurable experience to drink. In this article we’ll look at the glasses best suited to each type of wine, so you can be sure to wow your guests with your knowledge next time you’re playing host:
General wine glass tips
Opt for the clearest and thinnest glass you can afford. Glasses etched or frosted may be pretty to look at, but they won’t help to boost the wine’s qualities. Crystal in particular will enhance a wine’s appearance, while a thin rim will create less interference with the tasting, and glasses which are tapered at the top help to hold in scent. Once you have your glass, avoid filling it more than half full for non-sparkling wines, in order to allow you room to swirl and release the wine’s aroma.
For white wine
White wine glasses should be smaller than red wine glasses, to prevent the wine from warming up too quickly. They should also have straighter edges, in order to concentrate delicate aromas.
Young white wines are best complemented by wider topped glasses, which direct the sweet flavours to the sides of the tongue, while more mature white wines are more better suited to taller, narrower glasses, which direct the more intense flavours towards the back of the mouth.
For red wine
Red wine glasses generally have larger bowls and wider openings than white wine glasses, to give the wine more room to breathe and warm up to room temperature, and the wider the rim the better, as this allows you to dip your nose inside as you drink for maximum aroma. If you’re deciding between two red wine glasses, opt for the wider of the two, as you should ideally leave two thirds of the glass empty to allow adequate aeration.
If your budget allows, you can opt for specific types of red wine glass, matched to particular categories of wine. The ‘Bordeaux’ glass, for example, is taller than traditional wine glasses, but with a smaller bowl. It is designed for full bodied heavier reds, such as cabernets and merlots, and aims to enhance their rich flavour. By contrast, the ‘Burgundy’ wine glass is designed for lighter reds, such as Pinot Noir. It is shorter than the Bordeaux glass, but the bowl is larger and optimised for more delicate tastes.
As rose wines are produced in a similar way to white wines, their ideal glass must satisfy similar criteria. As with white wine glasses, rose wine glasses have small bowls, and they can have either slightly tapered or slightly flared lips depending on whether you are serving young and crisp, or mature and bold, rosé respectively.
For sparkling wine and champagne
It’s best to choose a tall tulip or flute shaped sparkling wine glass to prevent the bubbles from escaping. Although champagne saucers are attractive to look at, they don’t assist with either the fizz or the aroma of sparkling wine.
Dessert wine and fortified wine
Glasses for dessert and fortified wines, such as sherry and port, are typically smaller than standard wine glasses, because they are consumed in smaller quantities due to their high alcohol content. Their size also helps to direct rich flavours to the back of the mouth, in order to prevent the wine’s sweet flavours from becoming overwhelming.
We hope this guide has helped you to select the right glasses for you. Building up your collection can take time, but high quality wine glasses are certainly worth the investment.
With wine glasses come wine, and we have the perfect solutions to help you store yours. Take a look at our wine racks, wine cabinets and cellar racks to make sure your wine is kept in perfect condition, or contact us to find out more about how we can help you with your wine storage.
2014 – Our Year In The Press
Posted on December 18th, 2014
As the year begins to draw to a close, it is natural to want to reflect on achievements over the last twelve months, and we here at WineRacks are no exception. 2014 has been a truly great year for us, particularly as our products were featured in two prime time television programmes in June and September. It’s not every day you’re on the telly, so we’d like to share these special moments with you.
Series 3, Episode 4
In this series Architect George Clarke meets with property owners who have turned their small spaces into incredible places to live, work and play. Our bespoke oak wine racks were featured in an amazing episode in series 3, aired on 26 June, which followed a Manchester couple, Mark and Clare, who decided to turn their basement into an underground casino, complete with cellar! Mark described the moment the wine racks went in as a highlight of his overall project and states on his own website that WineRacks stood out as offering exceptional service – we think they look fantastic! You can watch a clip from the show here.
Bespoke Oak Wine Rack featured in ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’
Series 11, Episode 7
The Cast of New Tricks
One of our bespoke wine cabinets, made from galvanised steel and stained pine, was also featured in an episode of the crime solving drama ‘New Tricks’ on BBC One. The episode was entitled ‘In Vino Vertias’, a latin phrase which literally translates as ‘In wine there is truth’ – we couldn’t agree more! It was aired on 29 September, and formed part of the 11th series of the long running show. The episode followed the mysterious death of a landlord from an old London pub, where our famous wine rack could be spotted in the cellar. The murder was investigated by series regulars Tamzin Outhwaite, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Dennis Waterman and Denis Lawson, and took the characters to a vineyard in Kent. You can watch a clip from the episode here.
Bespoke Pine Wine Cabinet featured in ‘New Tricks’
We’re really proud of these achievements, even if we already secretly knew that our products deserved the limelight! If you’d like to start 2015 with your very own wine rack, take a look at our full range or get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.
Top 5 Gifts for Wine Lovers this Christmas
Posted on November 17th, 2014
Believe it or not, it’s that time of year again! Here at Wineracks we’re passionate about all things wine-related. If you know someone who has a penchant for pinot or a takes a shine to sauvignon, here are five great gift ideas for wine lovers to get you started with your Christmas shopping…
£9.95 from Red5.co.uk
A fun gift for anyone who likes to keep the important things in their life safe! This handy bottle stopper comes with a four digit combination lock to help keep prying hands at bay, with the added bonus of keeping wine both fresh and secure. The stopper is made from stainless steel and will fit most 17mm bottles.
£99 from Luxdeco.com
For friends who appreciate the finer things in life, this beautiful lead-free crystal glass decanter is suitable for both red and white wine. A fashion statement in its own right, this decorative two-piece decanter comes with a domed ice bowl which fits snugly underneath to keep white wines cool, while allowing red wines to be served at room temperature.
£54.90 from Design55.co.uk
For those with a sense of humour, this is certainly a wine cooler with a difference! Made from sustainable portuguese cork, the ice bucket is 100% waterproof and perfect for chilling champagne, as well as white and rosé. The cooler measures (H)25x(dia.)20 cm.
£23 from Notonthehighstreet.com
This quirky seasonal wine rack would make a perfect gift for those who appreciate great design as well as great wine! Styled by the award winning designer Choi Jinyoung, this reindeer would make a great centrepiece for a festive table. The rack is made from birch plywood, and penguin, elephant and dog designs are also available.
£12 from Notonthehighstreet.co.uk
If you’ve ever had your drink pinched half way through the evening, then you’ve found the perfect present for the perpetrator! Made from genuine Scrabble tiles, these lovely hand made wine charms come in a set of six and can be personalised so you can choose the right initials for you and your loved ones.
A Guide to Wine Storage, From A&W Moore.
Posted on October 14th, 2014
One of the most important ways to keep your wine in optimum condition is to store it correctly. It’s not as simple as throwing a few bottles on to a wine rack. No, there are a few more things to consider. Use our handy guide, to make sure that your fine wines are being stored correctly.
The first thing that you should think about is the ‘climate’ of your wine cellar. Climate is made up of the temperature and the humidity. They work closely together, to ensure that your wine ages well.
This is the most critical element of your wine cellar. Try to keep the temperature of your wine cellar as constant as possible. Ideally, aim for between 10 and 14 degrees centigrade. The cellar should absolutely never reach higher than 25 degrees centigrade. If wines are exposed to temperatures that are too high, this will age them prematurely.
The next vital factor for creating and ideal climate in your wine cellar is to control the humidity.
Why is humidity important?
Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere.
If humidity is too low…
If the humidity of the cellar is too low, organic corks may begin to dry out. If this happens, oxygen may get into the wine.
If humidity is too high…
There is also a risk to the quality of your wine, if the humidity in your cellar is too high. Firstly, the moisture will spoil the labels on the bottles. Secondly and more importantly, there is a possibility that you are creating the optimum conditions for fungus to grow on your wine bottles.
Controlling humidity can be tricky. However, a simple solution from A&W Moore is a cellar conditioner, which has amazing dual functionality – controlling both temperature and humidity. It can be tempting to buy a regular air conditioner but unfortunately, they can make the atmosphere too dry, as they are not designed for your wine cellar specific needs.
The darkness of your cellar is a huge factor in ensuring that your wine is stored correctly. Ultraviolet light can be detrimental to the quality of your wine. It’s important to note than some wines are more susceptible to degradation than others but they all need to be protected. There is science behind ultraviolet light’s effect on wine but it’s quite easy to understand. First of all, the excessive exposure is called ‘lightstrike’. The UV light reacts with the wine, creating compounds which destroy the taste. Along with ensuring a dark environment, wines in coloured glass stand a much better chance of avoiding lightstrike.
Successful wine storage takes some practice and planning, but when it’s done correctly, it is a satisfying and rewarding activity. You’ll enjoy the maximum benefit from the wines you invest in, when it has the best conditions to mature in.
Record high price at wine auction
Posted on October 6th, 2014
Sotheby’s in Hong Kong have sold 114 bottles of wine for a record breaking £1.6m !! However, the sale price did not reach the expected price that was estimated to have been up to $20m.
The private Asian purchaser aquired 6 bottles of 19 vintages ranging from 1992 to 2010.