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Recommendations for Serving Wine in the Summer

Posted on 06/16/2012 by Sharon Fenchak

Just because it’s warm outside, there’s no reason to let a good bottle of wine languish in the cellar or refrigerator—especially with a few user-friendly wine serving tips from our Biltmore Wine experts!

Assistant Winery Manager Rick DeBlasio recently walked us through the basics of serving and appreciating wine in warmer weather.

“This is a great season for crisp, refreshing white wines,” he says, “which are traditionally served chilled between 40–50 degrees. Our Biltmore Reserve Sonoma County Chardonnay, for example, is an un-oaked Chard with impressive mineral notes and a balanced acidity that pairs well with lighter summer fare.”

Rick explains that red wines have tannins, which give them a heavier, ‘chewier’ feel, and they’re best served a little warmer—around 55–65 degrees.

“That allows them a chance to open up a little more and let their flavors expand. That’s the reason we decant red wines and give them a chance to breathe after opening—half an hour is ideal for reds—but white wines don’t need that extra time.”

If serving outdoors, Rick advises you to keep your wines cool in a mix of ice and water, because ice alone doesn’t chill as well. It’s also helpful to keep the wine bottle in a cooler, out of direct sunlight—especially if you’re enjoying a red wine, which can ‘cook’ if it gets too warm.

There are many types of glassware available for serving wine, but Rick recommends using a universal-type wine glass unless you have plenty of storage space. “The universal style,” he says, concentrates the wine’s aroma and bouquet closer to the top of the glass, and that’s where scent and taste intersect to help us enjoy wine.”

In the end, Rick assures us that personal preference trumps everything else. “The only wrong way to drink wine,” he says, “is to drink wine you don’t enjoy!”

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