Should I Chill Zinfindel?
Chilling red Zins in a Dual Zone Thermoelectric Wine Cooler.
Wine drinkers tend to chill white Zin, but what about red?
Many people are confused as to the proper temperatures for specific wines.
Red Zinfandel, or just Zinfandel, has been a mainstay of California winemaking since the 1800s.
Zins will typically run from medium-bodied to full-bodied red wine.
Medium-bodied wines will have a lot of berry fruit flavors and spice, while full-bodied wines can have much more intensity, alcohol and tannins.
The White Zins (blush wines) are lighter, fruitier and sweeter – perfect for chilling.
But the Red Zinfandel is typically is not chilled, especially if it has been aged for a while.
The medium-bodied Zins could be put in the fridge or an ice bucket for half-an-hour before serving and the lighter whites and sparkling wines should be served fairly cool – about 40-50 degrees, while medium and fuller bodied wines can show well at slightly higher temps – say 50-60 degrees.
Lighter and some medium-bodies reds will work well in the 50-60 degree zones, while fuller reds should be in the 58-68 degree zone, for best results.
Colder temps will decrease the fruit aromas and intensify the tannins and wood flavors, while warmer temps will bring out more fruit flavors but also more alcohol.
It’s not an exact science and a bit of a balancing act.
According to Christopher Garrison, wine expert and owner of the Jazz Club Red White and Bluezz in Pasadena says, “To each his own. Drink/serve the wine the way you like it.”
Getting the Right Temperature
A dual zone wine cooler like the AW-211ED lets you store wine at the idea 55 degrees in one compartment, and keep whites chilled and ready to serve in the other.
Assuming you are storing your wine at 55°F, what’s the best way to get it to the right temperature for serving?
Dual-zone wine coolers offer the greatest flexibility for both storage and serving.
Set one compartment to 55°F for long-term storage for both white and red wines, and for full-bodied reds you plan to drink soon.
Set the second compartment to 45° for white or desert wines you plan to drink soon, or even colder for sparkling wines like Champagne.
If you don’t have a dual-zone cooler, or you need to fine tune serving temperatures before serving, here are some quick ways to quickly warm or cool down your wine.
If your wine is too warm:
Refrigerate it – toss a bottle into the fridge or freezer for a short period. An hour for white or sparkling wines, and 10-20 minutes for red wine will usually do the job.
Just don’t forget about it in the freezer or you could have a mess on your hands!
Ice it – immerse the bottle in a bucket of ice and cold water.
You can even add salt to the mixture to intensify the cooling effect.
DON’T add ice directly to the wine – you’ll just end up with watered-down wine.
Do use the use chilling rocks or whiskey stones.
TIP: It is better to start out with your wine too cold instead of too warm, since the moment you pour it in the glass it will start warming up.
Quick Guide: The Best Temperature for Serving Wine
|Typical room temperature||72°||22°|
|Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Burgundy||63°||17°|
|Pinot Noir, Merlot, Rioja||61°||16°|
|Tawny/NV Port, Madeira||57°||14°|
|Ideal storage temp, red and white||55°||13°|
|Viognier, Sauternes, Chablis||52°||11°|
|Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc||48°||9°|
|Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc||47°||8°|
|Standard refrigerator temp||35°||2°|