JWL Issue #085: Serving Temperatures, plus Valentine's Day Champagne

February 11, 2020

Just a few short weeks to go until I’ll be working on The Wine List full time and rolling out the next version of the product. I’ve been busy closing fundraising at the moment and can’t wait to release v2 of the product!

I’ve had a bit of a cold recently, which has meant I’ve not been able to properly taste too many wines, but I’m starting to build up a backlog of stuff to share over coming weeks.

I was at a birthday dinner at Sager & Wilde this week where two of the three tasting notes come from this week. The final addition is a treat for anyone wanting a special bottle this Valentines Day.


I first got into crémant on a group holiday to France a couple of summers ago: tasting through the Super U’s selection of crémant form Loire to Bourgogne was a treat. In France we drank the cheap ones ice cold. But Domaine Naudin Ferrand’s Crémant de Bourgogne was in an exceptional league. This was apply and fresh but way more texture and body than most similarly priced sparkling wines. We drank at Sager & Wilde but available In Vivo at £24.

When I interviewed Nat from Bluestone for my podcast, he said his wine awakening was in Tenerife. Not many people know about the Canary Islands as a wine producing region, but wines like Palo Blanco should really help put it on the map. This is salty, earthy and citrusy. Again one from Sager & Wilde, but available at Vin Cognito for £36.

And for Valentine’s Day, Comte de Senneval Champagne (£11 from Lidl) remains my favourite supermarket sparklers. We bought a few cases at Christmas and still have some left over. This smells of lemons and biscuits, and it doesn’t have that cheap, aggressive bubble to it that a lot of cheaper plonk does.


What temperature should I serve my wine at?

Wine is all too often served at the wrong temperature. ‘Room temperature’ means a different thing in summer than it does in a central heating controlled winter living room.

Next time you open a bottle, measure the temperature with a thermometer. You’ll probably be quite surprised as to how far from ideal it actually is.

If your wine’s too warm, some time in the fridge will help. If it’s too cool, time in a warmer room will help slowly. If you’re in a rush and that Syrah’s too cold, however, a few short bursts in the microwave will be fine (even an MW agrees!).

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