How do I get my cellared red wines to serving temperature quickly?

Jul 16, 2009

Q: I store my wine in a temperature and humidity controlled storage cabinet. I keep the temperature set for 58-60 degrees. If I haven't planned ahead or run a bottle short at a party, what the best way to quickly bring my reds to drinking temperature?

A: There is no "official" method. Wine Spectator tasting coordinator MaryAnn Worobiec suggested decanting the wine. I recommend immersing the bottle in a bucket of warm water. It is, however, definitely not a good idea to place a wine bottle in the microwave or the oven. Whatever method you choose, keep a close eye on the bottle, because you don't want it to get too warm. Remember that Americans tend to drink their reds too warm compared to European wine lovers, who consider a temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit to be the optimum level. To retain a red wine's freshness, you really shouldn't let the bottle exceed 70 degrees. There are a variety of gadgets that can give you an instant read on the temperature of the wine inside the bottle. Features editor Owen Dugan has had some luck with the models from Vintemp.


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Collecting Storage Q & A

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