Sparkling wines, especially Champagne, are some of the most prized and celebrated wines in the world for their opalescent shimmer and delicate yet distinctive bouquets ranging from from citrus, stone fruit, apple, pear to toasty brioche, bread crusts and spices.
Think of your wines like a flower or a piece of fruit. As it ages and ripens, the flavors and aromas deepen, intensity, and then die. On one hand, if the wine is too cold, you won’t smell anything at all.
If it’s too warm, you’ll lose the fresh, bright, herbaceous, fruity, and vegetal notes that add to a wine’s complexity. This goes for white wines and red wines too.
Volatile aromatic compounds are released into the atmosphere when their protein binds break, which happens with temperature rises. This is why winemakers use controlled temperatures when crushing grapes, especially for white wines, as the aromas are mostly present in the skins, which are filtered away more quickly in white wines.
Acidity and effervescence are defining characteristics of sparkling wine. They contribute to the fizzy sensation that makes fine sparkling wines so special. As temperatures rise acidity fades and bubbles burst and evaporate more quickly, bot both of which can make the wine feel flat.
As a general guide, serve sparkling wines between 47-50 degrees Fahrenheit or 8-10 degrees Celsius.
Any colder and you might numb your taste buds or feel an unpleasant sharpness from the acidity.
When unexpected company shows up or you simply can’t wait to open that bottle, try these these time-tested methods for chilling wine.
It’s a game of chance really. Sure, it’s drinkable, but it’s highly unlikely that all of the original flavors will be intact. Wait for it to thaw and in the worst case scenario, use if for an Aperol Spritz or a Champagne Cocktail!
We always get questions about this around the holiday season. Check out this fun and informative video about keeping your sparkling wine just cool enough. Cheers!
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