Wine glossary: chambering wine

Chambering a wine means bringing it to room temperature . And for this, it must be placed in a temperate room for a few hours so that the bottle is less cold. On leaving the cellar, the bottle of red wine will be around 10°C. Before the service, it will be necessary to think of placing it in a room for a few hours.

Since our homes and apartments today have a heating system that maintains the temperature above 18°C, the bottle should not be left there all day or placed near a heat source. heat. Even if the wine is to be enjoyed within 30 minutes of leaving the cellar, that is no reason to place it near the fireplace. To chamber it, avoid putting the bottle in lukewarm water or near the fireplace or radiator. A wine can be considered to be at room temperature when its temperature reaches 16 – 18°C, because it will still be heated in the glass during consumption.

“Chambrer le vin”, an expression for red wine

It is completely normal if you have never heard of the expression “chambering a white wine”, because this practice only concerns red wines. The wine, whether red, white or rosé, is kept in a cool cellar where the temperature can drop to 8°C.

For the tasting of white wine , the ideal temperature is the coolest and it is for this reason that we even come to keep the bottle cool for a few minutes before being consumed. For red wine , the recommended serving temperature is around 12°C. It is necessary to chamber it for better tasting and remember that a chambered red wine is a wine served at around 16 – 18°C.

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The ideal serving temperature for red wine

Even if you are offered a bottle of renowned wine, in order to enjoy it at its best, it must be served at the right temperature and not all wines have the same serving temperature . Red wine should not be served too hot or too cold.

Too hot, the bottle of red wine can leave a certain fat in the mouth and leave too strong aromas and too cold, it can take on its acidity and tannins. If you have a bottle of light, young red wine like a Beaujolais on hand, it should be served between 10 and 12°C. For a red natural sweet wine, the best serving temperature is between 14 and 15°C. For a full-bodied red wine, it should be chambered so that it reaches 14°C. A great Burgundy red wine should be served at 15°C while a great Bordeaux red wine should be tasted between 17 and 18°C.

No need to chamber the red wine

We can tell you that this practice will be useless. Indeed, chambering a red wine is not mandatory if your apartment is heated to 20 or 25°C. The bottle of wine can reach serving temperature very quickly when placed in this type of space and it can be reheated very quickly. Above 16°C, red wine can lose its aromas and the perception of alcohol will be more dominant when tasted by the glass .

When to open the bottle for service?

The bottle of wine should only be uncorked when it has reached the ideal serving temperature. White wines can be uncorked before or even just when your guests arrive and this will not change their taste, which is not the case with red wines, especially if you have a very young red wine. A 2011 red wine, when it loses its cork, receives an extra breath of oxygen and this reaction will accelerate the expression of its qualities. For a better tasting, it is preferable to uncork it a few hours in advance. If you have a carafe, remember to decant it so that it can receive the maximum amount of oxygen.

In case you have an older bottle of red wine, you will have to take more care, because the fruity notes are already less present and the aromas are more tertiary. Exposure to oxygen can then further accentuate these aromas. It will then be necessary to open it just at the time of tasting.

Store an already opened bottle of red wine

Once opened, all types of wine oxidize and they may not taste the same a few days after opening. For red wine in particular, its color can tarnish and the aromas can evolve: which allows you to keep it longer than a white wine, but you will have to take a few precautions.

Putting the cork back on the bottle is not the best solution because even when closed, air can still circulate in the bottle and the wine will still be in contact with air. So that oxidation is not harmful to your red wine, it is imperative to protect it from the ambient air by taking a suitable air pump that you must attach to the neck of the open bottle. By pumping the air in, you will slow down the oxidation process of the wine . It is also recommended to keep the bottle in the refrigerator or in a room at room temperature so that it is less exposed to oxidation.

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