Living in Florida makes me realize when I tell someone to serve their red wine at room temperature, that could mean 80 degrees in some homes. Way too warm.
Wine caves maintain an average temperature of 55 to 60 degrees F. Perfect drinking temp for reds.
Wine caves have a history going back to the days of the Roman Empire. They’re found throughout Europe, New Zealand and of course Napa Valley, California.
In 1873 the Beringer brothers hired 100 Chinese laborers to dig three tunnels in the mountain. The project took six years. Why go to all this trouble?
By tunneling into the hillsides, wineries had a place to store their wine at wine-friendly temperatures throughout the heat of summer and the near-freezing winters.
A good rule of thumb: white wine should be served at 45 – 50 degrees F. Your fridge is usually kept at 35 degrees, so take your white wine out a half hour before serving.
Chardonnays taste best being served around 50 degrees F, while Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling should be served cool at 47 degrees F.
(This is one of my favorite rieslings!)
You can follow all these instructions, or you can do as I did. My wish came true, after 15 years of hinting around about how nice it would be to have our own wine cellar.
My cellar temperature is set between 55 and 62 degrees F. I am so privileged to have it. If you start today, you can enjoy your own cellar in 15 years, or, check out on line the retailers in your area that have wine storage facilities.
–Marie Griffin, Wine Supervisor, Northwest Florida