Chilled red wine gets cold reception

A humble trade mag editor has stuck his head above the precipice of wine snobbery to utter the unthinkable – chill your red wine.
William Sitwell editor of the Waitrose Food Illustrated has apparently provoked the scorn of such wine luminaries as the deputy sommelier at the Ritz in London and the wine specialist at Christie’s auction house, according to today’s Times. Although the man at Christies did at least concede that some red wines could be chilled, he was reportedly sniffy about Mr Sitwell’s rather strident assertion that

“It really is criminal to leave decent bottles out of the fridge”.

The current heatwave could, Mr Sitwell asserts, lead to wine being “too loose” and he even claims red wines “are gagging to go in the fridge”.
Flowery in his choice of language he maybe, but, although having recently sampled a delicious Spanish red wine made specifically to be chilled (Rectoral de Amandi), I think these wine luminaries may be missing the point when it comes to the sort of wine most of us drink – yes, cheap.
Judging by the increased popularity of table wine, I’m guessing for most people, like myself, wine is something to enhance a meal and a pleasant, almost earthy experience – not one which involves the thermometer and opening procedures of the science lab.
But as far as the correct temperatures go, if you’re into that sort of drinking, then you probably won’t go far wrong with Daniel Rogov’s guide which includes a table of temperatures for wines and the very sensible observation that “room temperature” in England is obviously very different to that in Israel, Turkey, Finland or anywhere else.
It all leaves you thinking that wine is better enjoyed than worried over – wherever in the world you happen to be. Cheers.


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