Store wine the proper way to highlight the best features of each variety and satisfy the palates of your customers
Making educated and sophisticated selections for your wine list is just the start to ensuring that your restaurant or bar has the finest wines to offer your customers, whether served on their own or paired with food. Storing wine in the proper manner and at it’s ideal temperature ensures that the wines you serve your customers will live up to their full potential and wow even the most discerning of customer palates.
When storing wine, you want to keep it at a steady, cool temperature. 55 degrees, plus or minus a few degrees, is the general rule of thumb for storing white or red wine to maintain its quality, and keeping all bottles below 70 degrees is absolutely necessary. When storing wines for a long period of time, consistent and cool temperatures are a must. Avoiding major drops or bumps in temperature will help you to avoid the expansion and contraction of the liquid within the bottle, which can cause the cork to loosen and expose your wine to the damaging effects of air. Prior to serving wine, you should aim to have the wine at the ideal serving temperature based on the variety of wine you are serving. You can do this by creating individual temperature zones, either within a multi-zone wine refrigerator or with multiple wine refrigerators set at various temperatures. White wines are typically served at cooler temperatures than red wines, and even among the individual varieties there are considerations to aim for. Crisp, bright whites and sparkling whites do best served at lower temperatures closer to 40-55 degrees, while warmer, oakier whites such as Semillon and Chardonnay do well served at around 50-55 degrees. Light red wines such as Chianti or Beaujolais are ideally served in the cooler end of the ideal temperature range for a red wine, around 50-55 degrees. Medium bodied reds and fruity reds, such as Merlot or Pinot Noir, can be served a touch warmer in the 55-60 degree range. Full bodied reds such as Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Bordeaux can all be served on the warmer end of the temperature range for red wines, around 60-65 degrees.
Other factors in preserving the quality of your wines include storing them on their sides to keep the wine in contact with the cork, ensuring the cork does not dry out and cause exposure to the air. Also, it is good to limit light exposure as UV rays can have a harmful effect on wines, aging them prematurely in the same way excessive heat can.
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