How should wines be stored and served?
March 6, 2023
Wine storage and serving are essential for maintaining the quality of the wine and enhancing its flavor. I have talked before about the ‘room temperature’ concept, this is a deeper look into it, with some tips for storing and serving wine:
- Storage Temperature: Wine should be stored at a constant temperature between 7-18°C (45-65°F). The ideal temperature for most wines is around 13°C (55°F), yet here in Malaysia it may cause an issue of condensation with the high temperature difference, if your wine chiller is in an open space. Avoid storing wine in places with fluctuating temperatures, such as near a window or next to a heat source.
- Humidity: Wine should be stored in a humid environment with a humidity level of around 70%. This is important to keep the cork from drying out and allowing air into the bottle, which can damage the wine.
- Light: Wine should be stored away from direct sunlight or any other bright light source as this can cause the wine to age prematurely.
- Position: wine bottles should be stored horizontally or at a slight angle. This is to keep the cork moist and prevent it from drying out, which could lead to air getting into the bottle and spoil the wine.
- Serving Temperature: Wine should be served at the appropriate temperature depending on the type of wine. White wines should be served chilled between 7-10°C (45-50°F), while red wines should be served slightly cooler than room temperature at around 15-18°C (60-65°F). It is best to serve a wine a tad cooler that it should.
- Decanting: Some wines benefit from being decanted before serving, especially red wines. This is done to separate the wine from any sediment that may have settled in the bottle and to aerate the wine, allowing its aromas and flavours to fully develop. Some wines can be enjoyed right away after decanting, others, especially more premiums reds need a breath a bit longer to open up more. If so, you need to make sure the wine stays at good temperature. A little trick I use here with our warm weather is to put the decanter in a large bowl with a few ice cubes in the bottom, to keep it chilled.
- Glassware: Wine should be served in appropriate glassware, with larger glasses for red wines and smaller glasses for white wines. The shape of the glass can also affect the wine’s aroma and flavor, so it’s worth investing in good quality glassware – which would be crystal rather than standard glass – if you enjoy drinking wine.