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. 

Wine Wednesday: Dominus Estate 2013

Wine Wednesday: Dominus Estate 2013

Welcome to Wine Wednesday! What better way to get over the hump of a busy work week! Let’s explore and learn about a great wine! From Chardonnay sipped on a casual evening to a rare Cabernet for special occasions, each week we feature a wine available in our gifts. We’ll speak to the history of the makers behind the bottle, and we’ll tell you all about the flavors to be had inside.

 

This Week’s #WineWednesday – 2013 Dominus Estate

Rating: 

100 Points by The Wine Advocate, Vinous and James Suckling

 

About This Wine: 

The 2013 Dominus is one of the most profound wines Christian Moueix has yet made in his rather brilliant winemaking history, both in France and in Napa Valley. This wine, with very low yields of only 3,500 cases, offers up notes of cedar wood, forest floor, loamy soil and blackberry and blackcurrant fruit. Very opaque purple in color, super-pure and intense, this wine has low acidity, but ripe, noticeable tannins. This is a 30- to 40-year wine and a profound effort from this famous vineyard in Yountville.

 

Tasting Notes: 

The aromas to this are multidimensional and fascinating with black truffles, bark, cloves, black currants and citrus – even ginseng. Full-bodied, yet reserved, even austere, with chewy and powerful tannins that remain polished and refined. The flavors are more umami and savory. Then there’s forest fruits and red orange undertones. It lasts for minutes. A wine to age for a lifetime. It’s an experience to taste this. A new classic showing its history and tradition as a source of the greatest wines ever from Napa.

 

Blend:  89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot, and 4% Cabernet Franc.

 

Cellar Suggestions: 

Given proper cellaring, this wine will provide drinking pleasure through 2060.

 

 

 

 

Comment Below:

Have you had a chance to taste the 2013 Dominus Estate, or another Dominus vintage? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below. If not, tell us about your favorite Pinot Noir and why you enjoy it!

 

How to Properly Store Your Wine

How to Properly Store Your Wine

One of the most common questions we get asked at WineBaskets.com is how you should store your wine, both before you have opened it, and after you have opened it. To help answer these common and confusing questions – we’ve created a simple guide to help you, as a wine lover, can get the most life and the best results out of your wine. Plus, you will look like the genius with all the answers to questions about wine at the next dinner party or wine tasting you go to! Let’s dive in and find out how to properly store your wine, and how to store your wine once it has been opened.

 

Storing Wine Before It Has Been Opened

 

 

Tip #1: The most important thing to remember about storing wine before you are ready to open it is this:
CONSTANT, COOL TEMPERATURE.

Heat is enemy number one for all wine! Keeping your wine (and this goes for both red and white wines, as well as sparkling wine and Champagne, Port, and everything in between) at a constant cool temperature is the most important aspect of keeping your wine in a drinkable state. Whether or not it is a wine that ages well, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or should be enjoyed while it is still young, such as a Pinot Grigio, the outer temperature surrounding the bottle is of utmost, crucial importance. High temperatures, for example, above 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or rises and dips in temperature will change the chemical make up of the wine. It will age a wine quicker than is natural for the bottle, collapsing the aromas, the flavors and the all-important texture of the wine. Have you ever heard someone say “this wine is cooked”? That is the result of wine being stored in too high of a temperature.

Keep your wine between 45 to a maximum of 65 degrees F. A basement is the ideal place to store unopened wine, because of the cool temperature and the lack of sunlight (we will get to that in a minute). Don’t go below 45 degrees (like storing wine in the refrigerator) for a few reasons – the cork can dry out and allow more air to seep into the wine, or the wine could start to freeze and expand, breaking the bottle or the cork. If you do not have a basement, store your wine in a place that is dark and cool, such as the floor of your kitchen pantry. Heat rises, so putting your wine bottles close to the ground and in a dark place is a good idea.

One of the things we have been noticing is that there is a trend of new homes having a wine rack built in above the refrigerator. This is the worst place to store your wine! All the heat from the back of the refrigerator is going to destroy that wine. So if you live in a home with a built in rack above the fridge, by all means necessary, move that wine out of there and into a cool place with a constant temperature.

And avoid big temperature swings! Minor fluctuations are pretty much unavoidable, but big swings in temperature, say 10 degrees or more at a time, the liquid inside the wine bottle will expand and contract, which will also have a terrible effect on the quality of the wine.

 

Tip #2: The second most important thing to remember about storing wine before you are ready to open it:
AVOID SUNLIGHT. 

All light can be potentially bad for wine storage, but natural light (think from the SUN, aka UV light) is especially dangerous for wine storage. This is because the UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun can also prematurely age wine. This is one of the main reasons why many winemakers use colored glass for wine bottles! Think of it like a little pair of sunglasses for your wine! If natural light is something you can avoid, please do.

Florescent light bulbs also emit small amounts of UV rays, so if you are storing your wine in the basement or in another cool place, consider changing out the florescent tube bulbs for incandescent lights. If this is not going to be possible for you, just try not to keep the lights on for too long of stretches of time.

 

Tip #3: The third most important thing you can do when storing unopened wine:
KEEP THE BOTTLE ON ITS SIDE.

Wine bottles with corks should always be stored on their sides. Why? Because this keeps some liquid touching the cork so that it will not dry out! Even if your bottles are mostly screw caps (which is quite popular these days and there is nothing wrong with a screw cap!) we still recommend keeping wine stored on its side, as it is the most efficient way and will not hurt any bottle.

 

 

Storing Wine After It Has Been Opened

Once your wine – be it red wine, white wine, sparkling wine or a dessert wine – has been opened, you really only have a few days to consume the rest of it. And since oxygen turns wine into vinegar, there are a few things you can do to slow down that process and still enjoy the wine that you could not polish off.

1. The same rules apply to opened wine as they do to unopened: constant cool temperature and avoid light. Keep the wine in the refrigerator – yes, even red wine!

 

2. Put the cork back in the bottle, and your wine will last 3 – 5 days in the refrigerator. However, you can make it last even longer with a few other tools, such as an inert gas perserver (this replaces the oxygen that has gotten into the bottle with argon, which is heavier than oxygen and keeps the wine from oxidizing) or a vaccum pump, which removes all the oxygen from the bottle. You can find both of these tools in Wine Enthusiast’s online shop.

 

3. Get a Champagne stopper. This is one of the best accessories you can have for preserving your sparkling wines. Wine Folly’s Italian-made Champagne stopper is the best on the market.

 

4. Store all opened wines upright! This will minimize the amount of oxygen in the bottle.

 

 

We hope this has been helpful in your process of learning how to properly store wine, before and after opening!

Check back on Uncorked soon for even more helpful wine tutorials.

 

 

 

 

Wine Wednesday: Belmont Cliffs Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Wednesday: Belmont Cliffs Cabernet Sauvignon

Welcome to Wine Wednesday! What better way to get over the hump of a busy work week! Let’s explore and learn about a great wine! From Chardonnay sipped on a casual evening to a rare Cabernet for special occasions, each week we feature a wine available in our gifts. We’ll speak to the history of the makers behind the bottle, and we’ll tell you all about the flavors to be had inside.

 

This Week’s #WineWednesday – Belmont Cliffs Cabernet Sauvignon

About This Wine: 

This limited-release reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in collaboration with winemaker Robin Akhurst of Clos Pegase, on the 40-acre Tenma Vineyard located in the foothills of Mount St. Helena, spreading from the Palisades Mountains in the Northeast corner of Napa Valley. The rocky terrain and sparse topsoil of this rugged vineyard create the perfect terroir for growing world-class Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Tasting Notes: 

Portico is full-bodied, concentrated and densely ruby-colored in the glass. On the palate, this boutique Cab boasts a silky entry with opulent flavors of boysenberry and black fruits, followed by a touch of creamy vanilla.

 

Blend: 
100% Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Food Pairing & Cellar Suggestions: 

It is recommended that this full-bodied Cabernet is decanted for thirty minutes to one hour before enjoying. Serve this deeply textured Cabernet with rich sauces based in butter or cream that can stand up to the bold, unctuous flavors of Portico. New York Strip with parsleyed butter, roasted asparagus in a garlic béchamel, and brown sugar bread pudding make a perfect meal for this wine.

 

 

 

Comment Below:

Have you had a chance to taste Belmont Cliffs? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comments below. If not, tell us about your favorite Chardonnay and why you enjoy it!

 

Top Ten Best Wine Gift Baskets

Top Ten Best Wine Gift Baskets

The holidays are approaching, and one of the best gifts to give is a wine gift basket. But what is the best wine gift basket to send, you ask? For the best wine gift baskets online, you’ve come to the right place! For starters, these 10 AMAZING wine baskets all have ZERO shipping restrictions. That’s right, they ship country-wide, to every state that allows wine shipping. From a full-bodied, bold Napa Valley Cabernet to a silky and fragrant Oregon Pinot Noir, giving a wine basket from us guarantees a lasting impression.

Chock full of fantastic and noteworthy wines from our huge wine library, these memorable bottles are paired with sweet and savory gourmet foods from brands you know and love, like Godiva and Ghirardelli, as well as artisanal fare, including Iberico ham from Fermin, insanely delicious Belgian chocolate from Guylian and Marich, as well as cheeses including an apple walnut smoked cheese, an asiago from Wisconsin that is out of this world and many more. All of these wonderful pairings and wine are arranged in keepsake exclusive baskets – baskets that are meant to be repurposed and enjoyed long after the contents of the gift have been devoured. Your gift basket also comes with ribbon that is tied by hand around the gift – did you know that you can personalize the ribbon too? That’s right – you can add your own message to the ribbon, imprinted on with a beautiful gold paint. Imagine sending a holiday wine gift basket, dressed with a personalized ribbon! Talk about making a grand entrance. What better than that holiday season to delight in sending wine baskets to everyone on your gift list? It’s like sending a party in itself. So strap in and enjoy these 10 wine gift baskets from Winebaskets.com – they really are the perfect gift to impress friends, family, clients, colleagues and everyone else on your list who loves good food and really great wine. Straight from the experts at WineBaskets.com, we present this holiday season’s top ten best wine gift baskets to give. These are perfect for sending to friends, family, colleagues, co-workers and so much more.

The Top Ten Best Wine Gift Baskets

Click on any photo below to check these out on WineBaskets.com.

Taste of Success

New to our collection, send a little taste of success with this simple yet sumptuous and delicious gourmet basket. Abundant and sure to please, the Taste of Success is a perfect basket of sparkling North Coast Brut from Chateau Montmore and gourmet pairings. It’s fabulous for celebrating, thanking, congratulating or just about any special occasion.

 

Santa Barbara

Two bottles of fine wine: a Russian River Chardonnay and a Napa Valley Red Blend, meet a North Coast Brut called Chateau Montmore, named after the Montmorency cherry, with notes of warm white cherries. With plenty of sweet and savory accompaniments, this is a gift to remember.

 

The Ritz

Put on the ritz with this impressive wine basket. Three bottles of fantastic wine – a Russian River Chardonnay from Sonoma County and two Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons – are joined by plenty of sweets, snacks and gourmet delights the whole team is sure to enjoy.

 

The Winner’s Circle

The Winner’s Circle gourmet wine gift basket has everything for the wine lover! California Rosé, Solus Chardonnay, Cress Zinfandel and Chateau Montmore’s Brut Cuvée are the featured wines of this winning basket, ready to reinforce your reputation as a thoughtful gift-giver.

 

Happier Hour

Smoked walnut and black cherries on the nose lead to ripe plum and a satin vanilla mouthfeel with a long and subtle finish in Istro Cabernet Sauvignon, a lush California Cab that anyone would be delighted to receive. Presented alongside artisan cheese, succulent charcuterie and crackers, organic green olives, artisanal dark chocolate, truffles and more, happy hour is about to get even happier.

 

Monaco

It’s said that Monaco itself is just another word for prestige, and we agree. With two Napa Valley 100% Cabernet Sauvignons from Broadstone and Belmont Cliffs, our famed Bridlemile Dundee Hills Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir and the ever-lovely Chateau Montmore Sonoma Coast Brut, this world-class wine basket is sure to leave a lasting impression.

 

 

Reserve Wine Collection

For the wine lover whose palate leans toward the red, this is the perfect gift basket. The five bottles include Cabernet Sauvignons and Pinot Noirs from Knights Valley, Napa Valley and the Willamette Valley. Presented with an enormous selection of chocolates, this is definitely one of the most impressive in our collection.

 

Three Cheers

Three bottles of wine: an opulent Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a silken California Estate Chardonnay and an old-vine Zinfandel are surrounded by delectable gourmet pairings. It’s a luscious tasting menu, sure to impress when the milestone calls for a generous gesture.

 

Wine Merchant’s Gourmet Chest

Rich in black fruit aroma and showcasing the best of Napa Valley viticulture, Abelroth Brocade Reserve is a boutique limited release Meritage produced in a collaboration with winemaker Robin Akhurst of Clos Pegase fame. Joined by two more red wines, a Zinfandel from Briarwood and Pierce Canyon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, and all the most perfectly delicious pairings, this wine gift chest goes above and beyond for any special occasion.

 

Pacific Grove Wine Basket

From the French for “Beautiful Mirror”, Belle Taine Red Blend reflects the mastery of a vineyard ripened by the California sun and the dark stillness of French oak barrels, where this red blend ages to a silky perfection. Or choose Aurin Estates California Chardonnay, a summery white that stands poised between subtlety and vibrance, with toasted hazelnuts and honeydew melon giving way to Meyer lemon and vanilla bean on the palate. Give a bottle of each and you can’t lose.

 

Check out the rest of the wine gifts at WineBaskets.com! From personalized wine crates to gorgeous presentations including lacquered burl wood boxes, or caddies containing all stainless steel wine tools, WineBaskets.com has the perfect gift for every wine lover on your list. With complimentary cards and scissors attached to your gift, fast and easy checkout, rapid one to two day shipping, for the love of wine, we’re here to deliver the lasting impression you’ve always wanted.

Perfectly Autumnal Reds and Whites

Perfectly Autumnal Reds and Whites

The temperatures are dropping, we’re stoking the fireplaces and putting on those fuzzy socks – it’s time for a glass of wine! Here are some of WineBaskets.com’s recommendations for reds and whites with a perfectly autumnal feel.

 

Perfect Red & White Wines for Autumn

 

Elk Cove Pinot Gris

Giving off sweet and light aromas of citrus blossom and grapefruit, this creamy and lush wine offers lovely apple and pear flavors, while showing crispness on the palette. Medium-bodied and balanced, this white wine is perfect as an aperitif, or served with salmon, main-course salads, or Thai and Asian influenced dishes.

 

Decoy Zinfandel

From its lovely dark violet color to its luscious fruit aromas, this wine captures the alluring essence of Sonoma County Zinfandel. On the palate, layers of wild blueberry, blackberry and cassis are underscored by an elegant structure that includes supple, refined tannins, balanced acidity and just a hint of juicy sweetness and toasty oak.

 

Twomey Russian River Pinot Noir

Twomey Russian River Valley Pinot Noir is a rich, multi-faceted wine with great fruit and spice expression. It has a dark, cherry-red color and a complex nose of potpourri, ripe strawberries, cardamom, nutmeg and peat. It has a fruit-sweet attack, a fleshy mid-palate and notes of blond tobacco and coffee bean on the long and slightly tannic finish. With proper cellaring, this wine will give drinking pleasure through 2024.

 

Stags’ Leap Karia Chardonnay 

This crisp and fresh Chardonnay opens with aromas of orange blossom, lemon oil and toasted brioche with sweet cream apple butter. Karia charms with its balance of ripe fruit, understated barrel spice, mouth-filling texture and refreshing acidity. The palate is loaded with flavors of ripe stone fruit and apple blossom that lead to a persistent citrus and spice infused finish.

 

Belmont Cliffs Portico Cabernet Sauvignon 

The 40-acre Tenma Vineyard is located in the foothills of Mt. St. Helena, Napa Valley, where our reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is produced in partnership with renowned winemaker Robin Akhurst of Clos Pegase. Bold and unctuous, this Cabernet boasts opulent flavors of jammy black fruit and a touch of creamy vanilla.

 

Domaine Huet Vouvray Le Mont Moelleux Chenin Blanc

This Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley comes from one of the most esteemed wineries in the appellation. Biodynamically farmed, all the grapes are harvested by hand, resulting in a soft, rich and elegant wine.  Jonagold apple, green melon, Bosc pear and quince flavors streaming through, gilded with heather, honeysuckle and verbena notes on the long, lithe finish. Remarkably elegant despite the off-dry style.