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Temperature

Without being too fussy about degrees, a few basic rules must be respected to get the best out of a good bottle of wine. Technical memo: - Cold anesthetises aromas; - Cold "hardens" white wines, heightening an impression of acidity; cold "imprisons" reds; - In red wines, cold heightens the impression of roughness and abrasiveness and the astringency of the tannins; - Heat makes the fragile and subtle aromas behind the alcohol in white wines disappear; - Heat renders red wines more alcoholic, masking their subtleties and unbalancing them; - Heat tones down the sensation of astringency. If you keep the above in mind, you will easily remember that red wines are drunk at higher temperatures than whites, and full-bodied (tannic) reds are served at higher temperatures than light, lively reds. A few more tips: In summer, feel free to cool red wine, particularly at a restaurant if it has been stored somewhere stuffy. Really full-bodied reds lose their appeal over 18° and in modern homes, with no cellar, temperatures can often reach 25°C. The ideal solution is to use a bucket of cold water and a few ice cubes. The cold liquid gets through to the wine quickly through the glass. And it’s better to serve it slightly cool and wait for it to warm up quickly in the glass. To cool a white wine, nothing beats gently taking the temperature down in the fridge.

Recommended temperatures

15 to 18°C Full-bodied reds.

12 to 14°C Light reds.

8 to 12°C Rosés and dry whites.

6 to 8°C Champagne and other sparkling wines, sweet and syrupy whites, Vins Doux Naturels and Vins de Liqueurs.

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