No More Warm Wine
W A R M
M O R E
Excerpted from our August, 2008, Sip or Swallow newsletter:
Are you as tired as I am with bars and restaurants serving any wine that is too warm to drink? I sometimes feel that many folks drink white wine because they know that it will come chilled and therefore represent what the experts feel is the close to the correct temperature to maximum the wine taste.
If you are receiving a host of wine accessory catalogs you will notice that the industry is catching up on this issue. Two temperature tools that I have tested are a wine clip thermometer to put on a bottle that gives the internal temperature and the other is a VinTemp. It shots an infrared beam and extracts the temperature of the liquid in the corked or uncorked container.
When I got around to testing the wine clip, I found a minor flaw with the instrument. It has a range of temperatures from a low of around 40 to an upper range in the high 70s and my first bottle was warmer than the highest temperature, therefore it would not register anything! Well I suppose that the company is right, NO wine should be brought to the table that is SO warm that their gauge would NOT react. But in FL as well as any open air restaurant in the summer much wine would fail the ideal temp test if the bottle storage is sitting right on the bar top or in the open window sill. The wine clip looks and feels like a woman’s bracelet, so a little bulky without carrying a purse. A smaller device that does not having the limited temp range of the wine clip and is the VinTemp.
I’ve seen this as a keychain, a pen or the one I tested which is like a stubby ball point pen. Just shoot the glass or bottle and the temp is displayed in F or C. It has a printed gauge showing the range of acceptable temperatures for various types of wines. Very handy! Why? Even moron bartenders will acknowledge that a red wine being poured at 80 degrees is TOO warm for the patron!
That leaves the establishment to figure out how to rectify the problem. One way I have found is to have the entire wine bottle chilled in the ice bin or cooler (which is what they should be doing!) Another way is to have them pour the wine into a small wine carafe and then dunk that vessel into a large iced water glass for a couple of minutes. With the VinTemp you can check the temp frequently until you are satisfied with the temp!
However, we know this will be cumbersome for the establishment but it will solve YOUR problem of pouring warm wine at your home. Chill those reds! 60 to 65 degrees is an acceptable range, not 75 to 80 degrees.
Finally, I really want you and me to push ALL establishments that serve wine to keep those wines within proper serving temperatures. Look at our Good to Know and find the simple little sign that I encourage you to put on the bar reminding the bar/restaurant to start treating the warm wine issue seriously and do something about it. A small version is:
W A R M
M O R E
Now, all of you WineFestivites go forth and proclaim, NO MORE WARM WINE!
P.S. There are several good articles addressing the issue of warm red wines and the effect on your taste buds. Just Google “warm wine tasting” or some such combination to find them. Additionally, WineFestNews would accept other products to test and let you know you know how we feel about them, so send them along. We’re not shy about freebies!
Then a followup in our September 2008 newsletter:
Saying that, you may have missed our August 2008 newsletter entitled NO MORE WARM WINE. You may want to read it so this makes a little more sense. In the limited time we have had to research our passionate topic of bars and restaurants pouring warm reds, we have discovered a universal litany from bartenders, MODs and even owners; we don’t have the space or money to invest in cooling red wine.
Well then, jump in the lake, I say! Bricktop’s Restaurant in Naples, FL, is a newer upscale chain founded by a former principal of the Houston’s chain. I think they have four east coast units now. They serve ALL wines by the glass from their below counter refrigeration units. Sure, they get patrons who complain that their red wine is cold, but they understand that it will come up to the proper 60-65 degree serving temperature more likely than my recent red wine pour at The Keg. It was served at a disgusting 80 degrees (thanks to my VinTemp infrared wine thermometer device. www.shop2cart.net/go/winefestnews) When I complained to the waitstaff and the MOD about the warm wine, he calmly explained that ALL of their bottled wine in sitting in a storage unit that is set at 60 degrees. Well, thank you very much. Can you stick it back in there until it gets back to 60 degrees?
No relief is what I got. So here is the gist of this newsletter. I have finished my research. Coffee and tea are meant to be served HOT. All other liquids taste better if served cool. Try this sometime. Pour tap water from a southern state; take a long sip of coke or pepsi straight from the shelf at your local grocery store; or, heaven forbid drink milk, juice or WHITE WINE that is around 80 degrees and tell me that I am crazy. Tastes like drek! A 6 ounce house pour of a upscale Pinot Noir that costs $14 by the glass translates to about $300 a gallon. We all bitched at $4 a gallon gas, so why isn’t everybody bitching about WARM $300 a gallon wine???????????
Here is my spin on a solution. Tell that bar manager that you would like to be a regular customer and you like your wine about 60 degrees when poured. Ask them to keep your favorite “wine by the glass” in an unopened bottle in a cooler and when you come in you will be happy to drink a couple of glasses from that chilled bottle. If you and your friends do NOT finish it, what’s the problem? He just puts it next to the other reds sitting up in the 80 degree air for the next pigeon that comes along.
They also make a chiller that will bring down the temp of a bottle quickly and this would do nicely also. But I can see the bar/restaurant saying that it costs money to buy and counter top to store. Pity. So, if I am stupid enough to pay $300 a gallon for a glass of wine, I think I’ll take my business where they have an enomatic system or like the forward thinking BrickTops….. R U Syrious
And, our final segment on the issue in October’s 2008 newsletter
The Battleground Begins – No More Warm Wine
Promise, this is the last segment (3 of 3 if you care to read them all) about WARM WINE. Since we launched our tirade about retail establishments serving warm wine, mostly red, of course, we have gotten a lot of sympathy from those in the trade.
Seems like the wine reps continue to ask the retailer to do something about the temp of the red wines they serve, especially by the glass, but alas, nothing is done.
Well, we have two things to assist us getting this unpleasant trend changed. First and foremost, we have developed our own coasters which you will see below. It says it all. We are happy to pass along a few of them to each and every one of you as long as our quantity lasts. Just go to www.nomorewarmwine.com and sign up to receive a few in the snail mail or email us at this site. Doesn’t matter which one, you’ll get the reward of TELLING that bar that they are serving reds to WARM. Maybe they will start taking the hint and doing something about it. However, if they don’t, somehow I think our final suggestion will get their attention.
This will work real well if you have something like a VinTemp temp gauge, but fake it if you don’t. When the bartender or server brings your wine (either white or red) and it is served to you WARM, have them take it back. Remind them that you consider your wine like most folks consider their steak. If it is not to your liking, send it back. It they cannot accommodate you on the second pouring, take your business elsewhere until they understand that it is costing them business.
Remember, at a premium price of $14 for a four ounce pour, you are acknowledging that you are willing to spend money on something that is costing YOU $300 a gallon. Bitch, as you should if it does NOT meet your expectations. Ice buckets, chilling a bottle or glass in ice, quickly rinsing the wine like a martini and/or refrigeration will do wonders. It is bad enough that just recently the temp of a white wine served at an open air restaurant was the proper temp (almost) when it came to the table but checking the temp on the last two ounces about 20 minutes later raised the temp by 17 degrees. Well it’s Florida, you know!
Alas, we’d love to hear your comments and/or suggestions. Send us an email at email@example.com, pretty please……..