Friday, September 5, 2008

Why is everyone serving their red wine so damn hot?


Any good sommelier knows that red wine should be served at cellar temperature - between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Alas, lately, the boyfriend and I have been served blazing hot red wine nearly everywhere we've gone.

I get it, it's hot out, and the restaurants are keeping the wine handy (i.e., not properly refrigerated), but still, for $10-14 a glass, I'd like it to taste right. Overheated red wine loses it's complexity, and it's simply not very enjoyable to drink. You end up getting a nose and mouth-full of alcohol coming off of it instead of whatever delightful berries, plums, chocolate, etc, that you're supposed to get.

I found an old NY Magazine article lamenting the same thing, and he quoted a sommelier as saying that they don't much care about by the glass orders relative to full bottle orders, but my wine last night at Fritti was by the bottle and was also far too hot, so I'm not sure that excuse holds up all that well.

I first mentioned this in my posting about The Glenwood, then found it again at Repast, and last night at Fritti. Clearly it's common, even at great restaurants. Seriously, though, if they can keep the white cold, they could at least give a valiant effort at keeping the red wine from being center of the earth hot!

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