Why you should serve red wine slightly chilled


Red wines are best served at room temperature – correct? Well, not necessarily. It depends on what the room temperature is. At Creation for instance we prefer to serve our red wines slightly chilled, the reason being that ‘room temperature’ is not a South African concept; it is European, where the room temperature is generally lower.

Fact is that the temperature at which a wine is served has a significant effect on the aroma, taste and texture. Firstly, temperature determines how many aromatic molecules reach our nose and can thus be smelled. The colder the wine the less aromatic it will be perceived to be. At the other end, when too warm, many of the enjoyable molecules are gone before you can smell them and alcohol becomes the dominant aroma.

Taste and texture notably affect the perception of tannin in the wine. Hence the serving of white wines, which have much lower tannin levels than red wine, at a cooler temperature. Acidity on the other hand is more noticeable at higher temperatures. High acid whites are thus better served cooler than low acid red wines.


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