Should Moscato Be Chilled? And Other Wine Temperature Questions, Answered

Should Moscato Be Chilled? And Other Wine Temperature Questions, Answered

When it comes to serving and enjoying wine at its optimal taste, the temperature in which the wine is to be served is one of the simplest and yet one of the most important steps you can take. But a lot of people miss this very common rule, and there are a lot of people who actually miss out on optimal flavors and qualities in great wine, just because the wine was opened and served either too warm or too cold. To answer some of these wine temperature questions, let’s first take a look at the very basics of serving, pouring, tasting and enjoying a glass of wine.

 

Why chill wine?

Much like storing your wine, keeping your wine at a constant, cool temperature will help to bring out and enhance the wine’s unique flavors and aromas, when opened. But it is very important that your wine is served at the right temperature! It is a common misconception that red wine should always be served at room temperature – this idea is actually misunderstood. When wine was first created, it was stored in underground cellars, which are always slightly cooler than room temperature. But, that being said, when a wine is served too cold, you are going to miss out on all those important flavors and aromas, because they have been too muted by the cool temperature.

 

What does chilling actually do to the wine?

As the temperatures rise from a pour of chilled wine into a glass, the character of wine will develop into its full potential, where the taster will be able to enjoy the full spectrum of aromas and flavors. When the wine is chilled, the optimal flavors and aromas of the wine are put into a dormant state, which slows down the aging and oxygenating process in the bottle.

 

 What temperature should I serve my wine at?

It depends. Whether your wine is a sparkly French Champagne or a lush and bold California Cabernet Sauvignon, the optimal serving temperature varies by a few factors, including the color of the wine, the body or texture of the wine, and more. Here are a few quick guides:

 

Full Body Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Chianti, Sangiovese, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Merlot

Full-bodied reds should be stored at below 65 degrees Fahrenheit, but no lower than 45 degrees. The optimum temperature for storing full-bodied reds is between 60 – 65 degrees F. When serving a glass of full-bodied red wine, it should be served on the cool side. This is contrary to the popular belief that red wine should be served at room temperature. Think about it! As we said above, when wine was first created, it was stored in underground cellars and brought up to serve at slightly cooler than room temperature. So when you are drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner, be sure to pop it into the fridge for anywhere from 15 – 20 minutes while you’re cooking.

 

Full Body Whites: Chardonnay, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, White Bordeaux, White Rioja 

Store and serve full-bodied white wines cold, ideally around 45 degrees Fahrenheit. When serving cold white wine such as these and light-bodied white wines, be sure to serve it in a glass with a stem. The glass should be held by the stem, so as not to let the hands warm up the wine, if they are holding the glass by the bowl. Storing full-bodied white wines in the refrigerator right up until the moment of serving is perfectly acceptable – in fact, once you have poured, you should really stick a wine stopper in the bottle and put the wine back into the refrigerator, if you can. If you are unable to do this, an ice bucket is another great alternative.

 

Light Body Reds: Pinot Noir, Cinsault, Gamay, Grenache, Nebbiolo, Zweigelt, Lambrusco, Some Rosé

Served at a slightly cooler temperature than red wines with medium or full bodies, light bodied reds like the ever popular Pinot Noir optimally should be stored around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and served cool. So if you choose to store a light bodied red wine in your fridge (which is acceptable, but you should probably store it in the door so it doesn’t get packed into the cold, say in the back of the fridge or the crisper drawers – storing in the door gives it a rush of warmer air every time the door is opened), be sure to take it out of your fridge about 30 minutes before you open it.

 

Light Body Whites: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde, Pinot Gris, Albariño, Grüner Veltliner, Some Rosé, Moscato, Pink Moscato

Serve light-bodied white wines cold, and store them in the refrigerator or in your basement, if you live in a colder climate. Served cold in a glass with a stem, light bodied white wines should form a nice fog of condensation on the glass when they are poured. And much to the chagrin of wine snobs around the world, an ice cube or two in a glass of very light-bodied white wine never hurt anyone – try it in the summertime, it’ll change your life! An ice bucket is optimal for an opened bottle of light bodied white wine, but if you don’t have one available, pop a wine stopper in and put it back in the fridge until you’re ready for the next glass.

 

Sparkling Wines: Brut Champagne, Brut Rosé, Sparkling Wine (USA), Cava (Spain), Prosecco (Italy), Moscato D’Asti

Sparkling wines such as Champagne and Cava should be stored and served at the coldest possible temperature, definitely the coldest of the bunch. 42 degrees Fahrenheit is a perfect temperature to store Champagne and sparkling wine. In other words, keep it in your fridge at all times! This is another wine that does best with an ice bucket after the wine bottle has been opened, as well.

 

 

We at WineBaskets.com hope that you find these wine tutorials helpful and informative, and most of all, we hope that your next bottle of wine is the best you’ve ever had. Find a fantastic wine library, wine accessories and enjoy sitewide free shipping always, at WineBaskets.com. 

The Ten Most Expensive Champagnes on the Planet

The Ten Most Expensive Champagnes on the Planet

The world of Champagne and sparkling wine is, to say the least, both intricate and complex. For starters, there is the familiar word Champagne, which is only the sparkling wine that is produced in the Champagne region of France and then there is Cava, Spain’s version of champagne. Then there is Prosecco, the sparkling wine of Italy, and if you are in the United States or Australia, it is Sparkling wine. Then there are all the different flavors, textures, and dosages – that is, the amount of residual sugar that is leftover after the second fermentation. Needless to say, there is a lot to learn about the world of sparkling wine! If you would like a simple crash course on learning about bubbles, head over to our blog called Sparkling 101: A Crash Course in Bubbly.

 

The World’s Most Expensive Champagne: Top Ten

 
Sparkling wine was invented in the 1700s in France. It began as an experiment for the King, Queen and their nobility. Not long there after, the process known as the Methode Champenoise was perfected by none other than Dom Pérignon himself, a Benedictine Monk. Among being the most intricate and storied, Champagne is also some of the most expensive wine in the world, a renown and title that it bears most proudly. Let us take a look and discover the top ten most expensive Champagnes and sparkling wines on the planet. These brands of wine are so exclusive, that most often, they are only available in private social clubs or by special order. Depending on vintage and collectibility, some bottles have even been sold at auction for millions of dollars. This fascinating blog by Finances Online shows what some of the world’s most prolific collectors have spent on particular vintages at auction. For example, can you imagine trying a bottle of Champagne that was recovered from a 1741 shipwreck? With the bottle being submerged in cold temperatures and no light, we can’t help but wonder how it aged and would taste today! But we’re willing to guess that the collectors who purchased the shipwrecked Champagne didn’t open the bottle at all. Read on to discover the top ten most expensive Champagne brands today.

 

10. Moet & Chandon

Now one of the most famous icons of luxury, Moet was founded 1743. It is now part of the Louis Vuitton, Moet & Hennessy (LVMH) dynstasy. The 1869 vintage embarked a methode that embodies the unique Moet & Chandon style; a style that distinguishes itself by its bright fruitiness, seductive palate, and elegant maturity.

Retail prices of 750ml Moet & Chandon’s Grand Vintage, depending on the vintage, fetch upwards of $200 per bottle.  

 

09. Perrier-Jouet

One of France’s most famous Champagne houses, Perrier-Jouet was founded in the mid-1800s and was one of the first houses to ship Champagne to the UK and the USA. Most renowned for its floral bottle of the Belle Epoque, Perrier-Jouet owns 266 acres of vineyards in Champagne and consistently rates 95% by France’s standard.

With high ratings and highly collectible bottles, Perrier-Jouet fetches upwards of $200 – $400 per bottle, depending on vintage, varietal and availability.

 

08. Piper-Heidsieck

Piper-Heidsieck is a Champagne house founded by Florens-Louis Heidsieck in July 1785, in Reims, France. Heidsieck joined with Piper in October 1839. It is renowned for high barrel scores and popularly served in restaurants as it makes a wonderful pairing.

Bottles of Piper-Heidsieck Brut will set Champagne lovers back between $300 – $500 depending on vintage and availability. 

 

07. Veuve Clicquot 

At the young age of 27, the Madame Clicquot found herself a widow and the owner of her departed husband’s Maison de Champagne. In a time when a woman running a business was totally unheard of, Madame Clicquot took her Champagne House to the very top, making the name Clicquot itself synonymous with luxury. Always rated over 90 points by Wine Enthusiasts and other critics, Veuve Clicquot’s Prestige Cuvee, La Grande Dame, is a great wine which pays homage to a very “grande dame de la Champagne,” Madame Clicquot.

A 750ml bottle of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame retails for around $300 today, while certain vintages have fetched upwards of $2,000 at auction. 

 

06. Dom Pérignon 

For wine lovers, “Come quickly, I’m tasting stars!” is perhaps the most recognizable quote in wine history, right up there with Alexander Graham Bell and Neil Armstrong. It came when Benedictine Monk Dom Pierre Pérignon accidentally (according to the legend) sent his white wine into history with a second fermentation – the introduction of naturally created effervescence which he called stars in the mid 17th century.

Currently, Dom Pérignon‘s most expensive bottle of Champagne retails for about $400.00 for the P2 Plenitude, an extended tirage Champagne that is aged for 15 years. One bottle of 1996 Dom Pérignon sold at auction for $49,000! 

 

05. Armand De Brignac Ace of Spades Champagne

In the tiny village of Chigny les Roses, the Cattiers have owned and cultivated elite Champagne vineyards since 1763, so as you can see, this one family has spent hundreds of years perfecting the art of Champagne production, and the meticulous practices are put to use in each Armand de Brignac cuvée.

A 750ml bottle of Ace of Spades Brut Rosé retails for around $500.00 today, and a Jeroboam (a six-bottle capacity) will carry a price tag of around $3,000.00. 

 

04. Salon Blanc de Blancs Le Mesnil

Salon is a unique Champagne to say the least. All the focus in the making of this exceptional wine is on the singular. It was originally the product of one man, Aimé Salon; from one region, the Côte de Blancs; from one cru, Le Mesnil-sur-Oger; from one grape variety, Chardonnay; and from one vintage, with no blending at all.

Currently the 2007 Salon Blanc De Blancs retails for close to $600.00. 

 

03. Louis Roederer Brut Cristal

Champagne Louis Roederer was founded in France in 1776, and ever since, the wine has become increasingly synonymous with prestige. Amazingly, Louis Roederer vineyards rate an average 98 percent based on France’s statutory 100-point classification scale.

Some bottles of Brut Cristal have fetched retail prices of $700.00 and up, depending on the vintage. Rated 99 points by James Suckling, the 2008 Louis Roederer Cristal Rose retails for $650.00. 

 

02. Bollinger

Members of the British Royal Court were among the first people to help Bollinger make a name for itself. The Champagne House’s first vintage appeared in 1829. Today, the House owns nearly 400 acres in best Grands Crus and Premiers Crus villages.

Available bottles of Bollinger go for around $300 retail, but this makes the #2 spot on the list as certain vintages go for upwards of $2,000 per 750ml, depending on vintage. 

 

01. Krug

Since 1843, six generations of the Krug Family have been creating the finest and rarest Champagnes. Krug Grande Cuvée is the flagship of the House and the epitome of Krug’s craftsmanship: a blend of more than 120 wines from ten or more different years. Its exceptional flavor is the result of a stay of at least another six years in the cellars. Over twenty years are needed to craft each bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee.

On average, a bottle of Krug starts with a retail sticker of around $600, climbing to $3,000 and upwards. 

 

 

 

3 Tips to Giving the Perfect Wine Gift Every Time

3 Tips to Giving the Perfect Wine Gift Every Time

Not all of us are sommeliers or wine experts. So when it comes to choosing the wine that conveys the impression you’re hoping to achieve, it can be quite an undertaking. However, that’s where WineBaskets.com steps in! Here are our top three go-to tips when it comes to giving the best wine gifts.

TIP #1 – The relationship you have with your recipient should be taken into account first and foremost. Is the wine gift for your boss? Just because your boss is a wine lover, he might not appreciate a Gewürztraminer or a pink Moscato. So consider the relationship that you have – is it personal or professional? Also, take the occasion into account as well. A bottle of Champagne as a gift for someone who has been sick with the flu isn’t really a very thoughtful gift.

TIP #2 – If you know of a particular label that he or she already loves, play it safe! Why take a chance when you already know what will make them happy? If you’re unsure of their particular wine tastes, try to gauge what they might like at a very base level. When you saw them at that Christmas party, were they drinking red or white wine? If all else fails, reach out to someone close to them and ask! It’s totally acceptable to approach a close friend or family member and say something like, “I’d love to surprise her with a bottle of wine. Any recommendations on what she might like?”

TIP #3 – Presentation matters. Up the game and elevate the gift with spectacular presentation (we love our Burlwood boxes). Especially if you’re giving a wine gift you already know they like, up the impression-factor and make it a grand entrance. Present the wine in a gift basket, where it’s paired with gourmet food! Give a bottle of Champagne in a shiny silver wine chiller!

At WineBaskets.com, we’re proud to carry many distinctive and noteworthy bottles of wine in so many different presentations. In fact, our fine wine collection allows you to customize both the wine and the packaging it arrives in! Here are a few of our favorite wine gifts. Whatever you decide to do, giving a great bottle of wine in a beautiful presentation is a perfect way to leave a lasting impression.

 

Wine Gift Baskets

Champagne Gifts

Fine Wine Gifts

 

There are so many options and styles of wine gifts that are sure to impress – use the three tips above and you’re guaranteed to find the perfect wine gift!

Wine Wednesday Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Wine Wednesday Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Welcome to Wine Wednesday! What better way to get over the hump of a busy work week than to explore and learn about a great wine, and celebrate with a glass (or two)? From wines quaffable on a casual Saturday evening to rare and unique finds to be cellared and enjoyed on the most special of occasions, each week we’ll highlight a wine available in our gifts and speak to the history of the vintners behind the bottle, along with the delicious flavors to be had inside of it.

7683-21549This Week’s #WineWednesday – Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

At the young age of 27, the Madame Clicquot found herself a widow and the owner of her departed husband’s Maison de Champagne. In a time when a woman running a business was totally unheard of, Madame Clicquot took her Champagne House to the very top, making the name Clicquot itself synonymous with luxury.

Score: 94 Points by Wine Enthusiast

Acclaim: Veuve Clicquot’s Prestige Cuvee, La Grande Dame, is a great wine which pays homage to a very “grande dame de la Champagne,” Madame Clicquot. The incomparable finesse of this cuvee results from a blend of eight of the House’s traditional Grands Crus. This wine has a fine, complex fragrance, blending sweetness and nobility. It is smooth and silky in the mouth, with considerable substance and structure. A remarkable balance, with a fresh, harmonious finish, and a unique aromatic aftertaste.

Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot’s prestige cuvee is named after the widow Clicquot, the great lady who built up the house in the early 19th century. This latest incarnation is just showing signs of ripe toasty maturity. It is rich and soft with a high dosage, in the house style, with a full panoply of lime, red apple and apricot.

Blend & Cellaring: La Grande Dame 2006 is an exclusive blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from eight classic Grands Crus. In line with the style of the house, which is Pinot Noir dominant, the blend is 53% Pinot Noir and 47% Chardonnay. The vintage 2006 can be enjoyed now until 2025.

Food Pairing: Try La Grande Dame 2006 with smoked, cured meats, shellfish such as lobster and oysters, Sea Bass, Monkfish, scallops, goat cheese and desserts with candied citrus. 

Comment Below: Have you had a chance to taste La Grande Dame 2006? If so, let us know in the comments below. If not, tell us about your favorite Champagne and why you enjoy it!

Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2006

Welcome to Tasting Notes – a place to explore and discover your new favorite wine. Together we’ll taste with curiosity and attention, and hopefully learn a thing or two in the process! Check back with WineBaskets.com’s Uncorked blog regularly for new installments of Tasting Notes and so much more.

7071g_Veuve-Clicquot-La-Grande-Dame-ChampagneTaste and Discover: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Champagne

Vintage: 2006

Ratings: 94 Points by Robert Parker, the Wine Advocate

Acclaim: Veuve Clicquot’s Prestige Cuvee, La Grande Dame, is a great wine which pays homage to a very “grande dame de la Champagne,” Madame Clicquot. The incomparable finesse of this cuvee results from a blend of eight of the House’s traditional Grands Crus. This wine has a fine, complex fragrance, blending sweetness and nobility. It is smooth and silky in the mouth, with considerable substance and structure. A remarkable balance, with a fresh, harmonious finish, and a unique aromatic aftertaste.

Tasting Notes: Veuve Clicquot’s prestige cuvee is named after the widow Clicquot, the great lady who built up the house in the early 19th century. This latest incarnation is just showing signs of ripe toasty maturity. It is rich and soft with a high dosage, in the house style, with a full panoply of lime, red apple and apricot.

Blend: 47% Chardonnay and 53% Pinot Noir

Cellaring: Drink now through 2030

WineBaskets.com is delighted to offer the 2006 Veuve Clicquot La Grand Dame in a number of different beautiful presentations, including crates, baskets and sets.

Wine Wednesday – Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque

Wine Wednesday – Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque

Welcome to Wine Wednesday! What better way to get over the hump of a busy work week than to explore and learn about a great wine, and celebrate with a glass (or two)? From wines quaffable on a casual Saturday evening to rare and unique finds to be cellared and enjoyed on the most special of occasions, each week we’ll highlight a wine available in our gifts and speak to the history of the vintners behind the bottle, along with the delicious flavors to be had inside of it.

16837p_Champagne-and-Flutes-Gift-SetThis week’s #WineWednesday – Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque

Perrier-Jouët was founded in 1811 in Epernay by Pierre-Nicolas-Marie Perrier and his wife, Adele Jouët. One of the most prestigious houses in Champagne, the firm was shipping wine to Great Britain by 1813 and to the United States by 1837. Perrier-Jouët owns 266 acres of vineyards in Champagne, with an average rating of 95%, and is known worldwide for its consistency of style.

Score: 95 Points by Wine Enthusiast

Acclaim: This is a full-bodied and ripe wine, showing some toastiness as well as the delicious, concentrated apple and peach flavors. There is a crisp edge to this opulent and rich wine. It is drinkable now, but has a great future.

Tasting Notes: All the lightness of white flowers combine with hints of honeyed apple, white peach and lemon zest in this fresh, stylish champagne. Silky and elegant, this well-structured champagne has a base of mineral notes from the best chardonnay. On the palate, floral and fruit gives way to subtly spicy hints for a pleasant finish.

Food Pairing: The light body and fine bead of Perrier-Jouet is a perfect match for the textures of shellfish such as lobster, crab or scallops. 

WineBaskets.com proudly offers Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque in a number of beautiful presentations such as caviar sets, wine baskets and fine wine chillers.

Comment Below: Have you had a chance to taste Perrier-Jouet? If so, let us know in the comments below. If not, tell us about your favorite champagne and why you enjoy it!