A wine expert says you're chilling your whites and reds all wrong

Deb Hatcher has run Oregon’s largest winery, A to Z Wineworks, for over a decade. When I ask what she sees wine-lovers doing wrong in the world, she answers instantly.

You’re chilling your red and white wines all wrong.

Hatcher recommends placing your red wine in the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. She also says it’s best to remove white wine a half-hour before serving to bring the temperature down.

Her tip goes against everything you might know to be true as a casual wine lover. Conventional wisdom says reds should be served warm and whites should be cold.

But in-the-know wine aficionados tend to agree: Heating and cooling at the right time offers a sort of restorative effect on wine.

When a bottle of red sits too long at room temperature, the flavour compounds in the wine become volatile, or easily evaporated. What remains is a tasteless beverage void of any aroma.

“You taste the alcohol and not the fruit,” Hatcher says. “If you chill it just a little bit, that all comes together.”

White wines, on the other hand, are often served too cold. When their temperature dips below 55 degrees, the wine starts to taste like most other refreshing beverages on a hot day. It loses its complexity and could be easily swapped out for a glass of lemonade.

Hatcher likens over-refrigerated white wines to “numbing your foot and trying to ice skate.”

So, do yourself a favour and buck the conventional wisdom on wine chilling.

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