Wine Education: What is the 20 Minute Rule?

Wine Education: What is the 20 Minute Rule?

When we purchase a bottle of wine whether it set us back $10 or $50, we want it to taste delicious and bring out the best in the meal we are serving or enjoying at a restaurant. To get the most out of a bottle of wine, we can't stop with looking at the label, checking its reputation on a wine app or even remembering how perfect it was with the steak we had at our favorite restaurant last week.

The temperature of the wine brings out or masks the optimum flavors, bouquets, and textures of the wine. Wine served too warm or too chilled may exaggerate acidity, delete the fruitiness, and obliterate the mouthfeel.


How should white wine taste! Hey 


When we talk about tasting wine, we are not just referring to the actual taste but the aromas and the texture or mouthfeel we experience. That living liquid in your glass deserves more than just a quick gulp but should entice all your senses. Of course, there are an infinite amount of white wines, but some of the general expectations include crispness, citrus flavors, acidity, or a velvety oakiness. Depending on the grape variety and the terroir or winery where the wine originated the dryness and alcohol content will vary considerably. White wine should taste just as flavorful and provide just as much as an experience as a glass of red vino.


How should red wine taste?


With red wine, we want to taste berries, cherries, wood, leather, and the list goes on. We want either a soft and comforting mouthfeel or one that makes us wake up and take notice. Red wine also offers many choices, but even the most prestigious red wine may leave us wanting more if left in a warm room or exposed to excessive light or sunlight.


What is the 20-minute rule?


Generally speaking, most of us have heard we should drink white wine chilled and red wine at room temperature. But, serving wine at the most pleasant temperature involves more than grabbing a bottle from the fridge or wine rack. If asked what temperature you prefer at a restaurant, or you're about to open a bottle at home, follow these guidelines:

•    Red wine tastes best at 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

•    Rose' and white wines complement food the best between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

•     Sparkling wines taste the best and are the most festive ice cold or at about 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most of us store our wine in a cellar or wine rack and put the white wine in the fridge a few hours before serving. So, how do we follow the twenty-minute rule?

•    Take white wine out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before serving.

•    Put red wine in the fridge 20 minutes before serving.

And, if you don't have twenty minutes, putting the red wine in the freezer for a few minutes won't hurt it. Additionally, once your white wine reaches the perfect temperature, you can keep it that way in an ice bucket or wine cooler. Try the twenty-minute rule and see if you start enjoying your favorite beverage even more!

For more information on serving wine contact us.


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  • Adam Linet