Let Cooler Reds Prevail: The Best Temperature for Drinking Red Wine
The scourge of the whites-only wine fridge.
The Butcher Shop, the South Endâ€™s wine bar/meatery, sells a beautiful burgundy by the glass. High-toned and moderately tannic, with gorgeous cranberry notes, the 2011 Domaine Rion drinks like a wine twice the price. Itâ€™s such an inspired option for a glass-pour listâ€”typically relegated to crowd-pleasersâ€”that Iâ€™m unfazed by the steep markup ($16). Itâ€™s also served almost 10 degrees too warm. Which does faze me.
Red wines taste best at â€ścellar temperature,â€ť about 60 degrees Fahrenheitâ€”a good 15 degrees below your average thermostat. The coolness keeps the acids and fruit in balance while muting the tannins, which give structure and longevity but have an astringent quality that, when too pronounced, wicks the tongue like an unripe pear. So reds are kept in temperature-controlled storageâ€”unless theyâ€™re on the glass list, in which case they while away the day on the counter, becoming one with the ambient balminess.
A notable few programs have figured out a solution. Bin 26, in Beacon Hill, uses a snazzy dispenser system that keeps its glass pours at 58 degrees. Kendall Squareâ€™s Belly goes old-school with a double sink, storing whites on the ice-filled side and reds along the chilly partition on the other. Then thereâ€™s a fix I wonder why everyone doesnâ€™t adopt: Alden & Harlow, the forthcoming Harvard Square eatery, plans to install two fridges on the bar, one per color. But thatâ€™s pretty much it.
Is it unfair to single out the Butcher Shop for hot MĂ©docs in a town of balmy Beaujolais? Maybe so. Then again, who better to lead the chilled-red charge than beverage director Cat Silirie, whose inimitable palate, meticulously trained staff, and quirkball dream of a wine list have earned the spot well-deserved cred as an oenophile haven?
Not to mention that, chances are, anyone willing to cough up 16 bucks for a single serving of fermented grape juice cares about a 10-degree difference in its temperature.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/article/2013/11/26/best-temperature-drink-red-wine/