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Tips to help beat the heat to keep wine fresh

Tips to help beat the heat to keep wine fresh

This week I am writing about wine and temperature, but not the serving temperature of wine. I’m referring to the soaring heat of summer temperatures. Last week I wrote about cooling sweet treats to make with wine. This week, I offer more beat the heat tips to escape the unbearable outside weather.

For keeping wine chilled, consider the new Kim Crawford Wine Gems by Anna New York. Most of us have heard of “whiskey stones” but these are designed for wine. The colorful fluorite stones keep wine chilled without watering it down as ice cubes do. Simply store the stones in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. After a quick wash they are ready to go back in the freezer for the next wine cool-down. For more information, visit rablabs.com/collections/tabletop/products/wine-gems-kim-crawford.

This is an easy tip, but one that is often overlooked. When entertaining outside, don’t pour your guests’ wine glasses full. With a smaller pour guests may want to refill their glasses more often, but a full glass will take longer to drink and thus heat up before it is consumed.

And be sure to keep the bottle in an insulated bin, bucket or cooler. You can’t just place a bottle of white or red on the table in 100-degree temperatures and expect a refreshing, cool wine. There are many fancy insulated wraps on the market, but an ice bucket or container can do the trick. Fill the container with ice cubes, pour in a little water and then add the bottle. The water is key because it comes in complete contact with the bottle and cools it more quickly.

Temperature also affects your wines’ longevity. High temperatures are detrimental to the quality of the wine. If it’s left in a car or hot corner of the garage, the cork will start to pull away from the bottle and you are left with a roasting hot, vinegar-tasting wine.

My final tip: Hot weather is the ideal time to look at lower alcohol wines. Most whites and rosés are in the 12.5 percent to 13 percent range. Keep in mind some heavy, tannic reds can weigh in at over 14.5 percent.

THE VALUE

  • 2014 Cline Cellars Viognier, California (about $12 retail)

THE SPLURGE

  • 2014 Impatience Rosé, France (about $20 retail)

Beat the summer heat

As summer heat bears down on us, it seems the appropriate time to answer a few questions that wine lovers have been asking.

Can you drop a few ice cubes into your white wine to give it a quick cool down?

It seems the perfect answer to quickly cooling down a glass of wine, but actually it can alter the taste and balance. Wine, unlike many beverages, is produced with a perfect balance of water, sugar, acid, tannin and alcohol. The vineyard manager and winemaker devote time to grow and produce grapes to achieve this perfect balance. Dropping in a few ice cubes leaves it watery with the taste of a poor quality wine. Instead, try a rapid wine-chill by placing the bottle in a half-water, half-ice solution for about 10 minutes or a quick freezer-chill for 10 to 20 minutes.

Can wine really go bad from heat inside the car?

When the wine is subjected to a temperature over 100 degrees, you can be sure its quality will be jeopardized. This can happen when you buy a couple bottles of wine, place it them in the trunk and continue on your errands as usual. I like to I treat wine as I would ice cream. You wouldn’t buy ice cream and leave it in the car while you run errands or have dinner with friends.

I am looking for a cool refreshing wine to go with burgers and the weather is too hot for reds. Any suggestions?

Rose, Rose, Rose (ro-zay). This perfect summer wine offers the cool refreshing characteristics of white wine. I will stay on my rose wine soapbox until I am confident that wine lovers have given them a fair try.