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Should I Chill Red Wine?

Many wine drinkers cling to the misconception that it is almost sacrilegious to chill a red wine before serving.  This comes from the concept that red wines should be served at “room temperature”.

However room temperature obviously varies dramatically depending n your location. Room temperature in Singapore is a consistent 28 to 32 deg C – a far cry from (say) Scotland in May where its15 deg C.

Elevated temperatures affect some red wines more than others. But it is true to say that all red wines will taste different - to a greater or lesser degree -depending on the serving temperature. High alcohol wines like those from the Barossa Valley will taste ‘hot’ as high temperatures release the volatile alcohol. Conversely tannic wines from Bordeaux will taste ‘hard’ if they are served too cold. It’s easy to conduct your own experiment with a favourite wine – just refrigerate it and then taste it as the temperature rises. You will soon establish the temperature “sweet spot”.

Interestingly a rule of thumb test of the quality of a white wine is to taste it at room temperature – if it still tastes balanced with good fruit and acid it is a quality wine. But if it tastes fat and flabby then the temperature is probably hiding a lack of quality.

So – there is no shame or lack of etiquette in chilling red wines especially in our hot Singapore climate.



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