Cold White Wine for a Hot Day


Photo courtesy of tomylees, Flickr Creative Commons

I was half watching the Today Show this morning, while getting ready for an appointment, and Chef Jose Andres (love that guy – so funny!) was on showing how to make different kinds of fruit popsicles. These pops sounded really great, by the way – some included alcohol and some didn’t – but very refreshing in any case. As he tossed the ingredients into the bowl he emphasized that it’s important to add some salt because cold suppresses the flavor. YES! THANK YOU!

I know you think we wine educators are really bossy telling you the “correct” serving temperature, what kind of glass to use, telling you to swirl the wine… Well, Chef Andres vindicated us – at least on the subject of serving temperatures.  

It’s going to be about 100 degrees F. here today so it’s very tempting to down a glass of ice-cold white wine. Fair enough. But, what I’d suggest, if you want it that cold, is that the wine shouldn’t be one of your best. In fact, it should be in the “value” category.

Why? Because Andres was right! Cold kills flavor! So, trying to be as unbossy as possible, I want to say that when you plan to serve a really lovely white wine, in order to smell and taste what you paid for, I’d shoot for around 55 degrees. Cool enough to be refreshing, but not so cold that it shuts down the aroma or stuns the palate.  

Of course, it’s important to qualify this by saying that it’s your wine and you should do the thing that gives you the most pleasure! That’s what wine is for. But, unless you have tons of disposable income, please don’t waste your money by serving a fine white ice cold. Just pick up something simple and pleasant from Trader Joes and toss in some ice cubes if you want. Or, as friend Jon, of Pantheon Cellars suggests, put some white wine in ice cube trays on these hot days. No dilution when you add the cubes to your wine! 

What’s your favorite beat the heat treat? 

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1 Comment

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One response to “Cold White Wine for a Hot Day

  1. Thanks for the plug, Nancy! Cheers!

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