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Monica Chappell
July 7, 2021 | How-to | Monica Chappell

Summer Chill'n

With summer in full swing, it's easy to find yourself pouring wine that is either too cold or too warm.

Just as the right glass will enhance your wine experience, serving artisanal wine at the ideal temperature is equally as important.

When it comes to knowing what temperature to serve a wine, you can follow this easy-to-remember tip: twenty minutes before serving, take the white wine out of the fridge, and put the red wine in. This rule is intended to fix the two most common mistakes in wine service—serving white wines too cold and red wines too warm.

Now, this is not something to lose sleep over, but the fact is that properly chilled artisanal wines do taste noticeably better.

Serving wine at its proper temperature enables you to taste wine at its full potential. Most of the enjoyment that comes from drinking artisanal wine involves its aroma. Taste only has four aspects: sweet, sour, salty, and acid. The nose does the rest. Vapors are created as artisanal wine warms up, so the wine needs to be a few degrees below its ideal drinking temperature for you to enjoy it at its finest. To be confident the wine you serve will be on its best behavior know the whole story.

Red Red Wine

If you've heard the old adage that red wines need to be served at "room temperature" don't forget that "room temperature" can be considerably higher in the summer. In fact, the adage that red wine should be served at room temperature was coined when people were storing and serving wine from their cellars, where wine was kept quite cool.  Most artisanal red wines are at their best at cool room temperature, 62 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Light reds benefit from being served slightly cooler than full bodied reds. Keep reds too warm and they will taste alcoholic and even vinegary. Too cold and they will have an overly tannic bite and much less flavor.

Created in a lighter style and perfect for a slight chill, our 2018 Heart Arrow Ranch Zinfandel comes from an amazing biodynamic farm in Mendocino County. Biodynamic farming techniques, together with our old-world winemaking, create a broad range of aromas, flavors, and structure akin to a wine from Burgundy or Beaujolais. We ferment with native yeasts and age in a 900 gallon French oak barrel, resulting in a soft and elegant “Old-World” style wine.

Refreshing Whites

Just as many reds are served too warm, most white wines are served too cold. Artisanal white wines are best between 55 and 62 degrees. Chilling white wines properly preserve their freshness but too cold and they will be nearly tasteless. White wines served too warm will taste alcoholic and flabby.

Our 2019 Chenin Blanc “Concrete Cuvée,”  Clarksburg was inspired by the Loire Valley wines the Dashe family enjoys every summer in France! Fermented in a large concrete egg, which suspends the lees for toasty overtones and preserves the wines delicate freshness and aromatics, this Chenin blanc is one of our most vivacious, textured, and seductive wines.

Bubbling Beauties

Sparkling wines should start out totally chilled and are best served between 40-45 degrees. Put them in the refrigerator an hour and half before serving or in an ice bucket with water for at least 20 minutes before serving. Artisanal sparkling wine will not stay at a constant temperature once it is out of the fridge so keep an ice bucket handy or put the bottle back in the refrigerator between pours. 

The vintage of 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the founding of Dashe Cellars, and we felt that a sparkling wine was a perfect way to celebrate this occasion. We have long admired the beautiful sparkling wines made in the Loire Valley from the Chenin Blanc grape, and for this initial wine we used 100% Chenin Blanc from the Heringer Vineyard in Clarksburg, California. 

You need not become a maniac with a thermometer to keep artisanal wine the right temperature range; a little experience and a little tasting, and the wine itself will tell you everything you need to know. So, chill this summer with a perfectly chilled glass of wine.


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