As with food, so with wine

For those of us who enjoy food, we know that temperature is key. Although tastes do vary, for the majority, we enjoy cold foods to be served cold and cooked foods to be served at least warm. Certain characteristics in the food are enhanced by their varying temperatures, in turn creating a much more memorable and enjoyable experience. This is no news.

It is no different with wines. As you can see on the adjacent chart, certain varietals (types of grapes) do require and are enhanced by different temperatures. Whites are served cold and reds at room temperature or in that vicinity. However, these two very basics rules do breakdown even further, depending on a few variables (i.e. varietal, terroir).

Take a look at the chart provided and familiarize yourself with some of these temps.

Something to remember and a small rule of mine is that white wine that is refrigerated should be taken out of the fridge 10 minutes prior to serving and reds should be put into the fridge 10 minutes before being served. This is a preference not ‘the rule’!


Some helpful charts

As much as it seems like a lot of information, it is useful to know what is hitting your tongue and where. This should give you a better understanding in knowing what you’re looking for when you’re tasting your vino. In conjunction with the ‘Aroma Wheel’, you should be set on your way to activating your olfactory database and enjoy those bottles.

Below you will find an article on the olfactory system and how it works.


People have and will continue to write about wine, and there is nothing we can do about it. There is so much information out there, that, as with anything else, it can actually be scary and overwhelming, taking the enthusiasm and fun out of something that is supposed to be exactly that.

In my experience and years around this fine product, I have to say that 3 essentials are the following:

  1. “WINE: An Introduction” by Joanna Simon 
  2. “The Oxford Companion to Wine” by Jancis Robinson
  3. The World Atlas of Wine” by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson

They are all in the $40 price range and give you tons of information. As the titles suggest, you will get any level of information you want. These are just 3 out of 1000s of books, and I’m sure they are all as informative. Up to you!

There are also a lot of other resources for you to expand your wine knowledge, but sometimes less is more.

Now that we have some tools and some reference guides, we can start exploring some basics of how this all came to be.

Where does one start?

After yesterday’s post, I went home and was reading up a bit on what I wanted this one to be about.

It started making more sense to give you a bit of background knowledge on some aromas you may be looking for when you’re nosing (smelling) a wine. Those of you that have some basic or extensive wine knowledge, I’m sure you have come across the ‘Aroma Wheel’. With wine having such a variety of levels of complexity, it may get sometimes confusing on exactly it is that you are nosing. This wheel should make your life much easier. Familiarize yourself with some of these ‘smells’ and if you’re having a bottle this evening, try and see what you can identify with the help of this illustration.

You can also print it from this link: