How Do You Keep a Wine at the Right Temperature?

Let's say that you have a bottle of sauvignon blanc, and know that it tastes wonderfully at 54F. Your fridge is at 35F-38F - i.e. not freezing temperature, but still cold enough to keep bacteria from growing in it. So you patiently wait the half hour for your sauvignon blanc to warm up to 54F, and pour out a glass to enjoy. That first glass is perfect! But how do you now keep the rest of the bottle cool so that you can continue to enjoy it throughout the meal?

First, if you're a slow sipper and your only real concern is keeping your one glass cold through the dinner, I highly recommend plastic ice cubes. Plunk a new one in each time the wine begins to taste warmer. I have a bunch of blue and pink fish shapes in my freezer. The ice cubes will keep your wine cool without changing its flavor at all.

Next, if you're a two glass with dinner person, and your worry is about that second glass that is warming up to an alcohol-laden too warm temperature, there are many "ice sleeves" on the market. This is a plastic cylinder (sort of like a neck warmer in shape) that you slide over the bottle. You keep it in the freezer until you need it. The thought is that it helps to keep the wine cool - but since it doesn't encase the entire bottle, it doesn't bring the bottle down to freezing temperature. Between the untouched parts of the bottle warming up, and the encased parts cooling down, you strike a balance that is hopefully in the temperature range you require.

If you have spare cash to spend, there are actually devices that you set a specific temperature - say 54F - and stick the bottle into them. They then cool or stop cooling based on the wine's temperature. So if the wine starts to warm up, they start cooling - and once the wine reaches the correct temperature, they stop cooling so natural room temperature starts warming it up again. Since most rooms aren't actually "wine temperature" (thank goodness) they don't worry about having to heat up the wine :). When they said red wine should be served at room temperature, this was back in the renaissance where rooms in France *were* in the 50s and 60s much of the time.

How do you know what temperature your wine is? There are many items on the market to help out. There are stick-on plastic strip thermometers, sort of like the ones you stick on a fish tank or your forehead. These easily and immediately tell you your wine's temperature. There are also super cool infrared thermometers where you point it at the bottle, press a button and voila, it tells you the temperature without even having to touch it. I have one and it is a *ton* of fun to play with :) However you have to sit there pressing the button each time you want to know what the reading is. For actual sitting-at-dinner it makes more sense to stick a strip on the bottle so you can see at a glance if it needs cooling or not.

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How Do You Keep a Wine at the Right Temperature?

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.