Taking a stance
Because Crozes-Hermitage winegrowers seek not only to establish professional relationships but also friendships with chefs, sommeliers, wine merchants and enthusiasts, they regularly voice their opinions on issues affecting wine consumption in particular, and the future of our gourmet food cultures in general.
In May 2023, Crozes-Hermitage winegrowers rallied round to draw the attention of hospitality professionals to the impact of serving temperatures on the flavour of red wines, and raise awareness of the issue among the general public. Calling for wines to be brought up to room temperature, as was customary in the past, they launched an appeal, co-signed by over forty Paris chefs and sommeliers and two specialist wine researchers – Marc-André Selosse and Gabriel Lepousez.
APPEAL BY THE WINEGROWERS OF CROZES-HERMITAGE AND THEIR FRIENDS TO SERVE RED WINES AT THE RIGHT TEMPERATURE
What does bringing a wine up to room temperature imply?
Sommeliers and keen wine enthusiasts are very familiar with a host of techniques designed to bring wine up to the desired temperature. That’s because, irrespective of its colour, a wine shows differently depending on the temperature at which it is served. Too cold, and it will seem insipid, inexpressive and excessively tannic. Too hot and it will feel alcoholic and uninteresting. Red wines show at their absolute best in a particular temperature range – between 16 and 19°C as a simple rule of thumb – which is well above temperatures provided by domestic appliances but often below the ambient temperature in our modern-day homes that are well insulated and (over-)heated.
Because collectively, we drink less but better and it seems antiquated that in this day and age, winegrowers produce better wines and we spend more on a bottle of wine, but we disparage the experience of savouring wine by serving it at a temperature that does not allow it to show at its best, or, worse still, undermines its quality. This appeal applies to everyone, from the winegrowers so that they play a part in educating people about the need to bring their red wines up to room temperature; the sommeliers and chefs in our top restaurants so that they lead the way; every strand of the hospitality industry because new generations of consumers learn to understand and hone their tastes in restaurants, bars and bistros; and to the consumers themselves, both the keen enthusiasts and average drinkers.
So yes, for the enjoyment of wine, the future of our wine regions and for sharing the joy of flavour, we are calling for a more temperature-sensitive future!”
ABOUT THE SERVING TEMPERATURE OF RED WINES
The temperature at which a wine is served dictates our perception of it, both on the nose and on the palate.
The reason for this is the principal of thermal motion where molecules increasingly move about commensurately with the rise in temperatures. As they do so, they cause phenomena that can make or break a wine, and change the way our sensory sensors work.
Each wine’s components make it unique and therefore there is an optimum temperature that elicits the least amount of undesirable molecules and the highest amount of pleasant molecules.
This rule holds true, irrespective of the colour of the wines.
But it is particularly true for red wine where the optimum temperature is higher than the cellar temperature but lower than that of our modern-day homes, where the heating makes them too hot in the winter and the temperatures are too hot on the summer.
Expert serving therefore involves two prerequisites:
- there are recommended temperature ranges for each region, but each wine has its own optimum serving temperature and both professionals and wine enthusiasts are aware of how to get closest to it for each individual case.
- to come closest to the optimum temperature, a particular method is used – a number of techniques bring the wine up to the desired temperature without distorting it.
Why does the serving temperature affect the flavour of red wines?
Pdf : More information in French
Hors d’œuvres: a happening designed to support the hospitality industry
In France, Covid-19 caused bars and restaurants to close for several months in autumn 2020. In the spring of 2021, Crozes-Hermitage winegrowers offered a token of their support for the hospitality industry but also their commitment to values such as sharing and community spirit by asking graffiti artists to add some colour to the façades of ten establishments in Paris, and the same number in Lyon.