JWL Issue #121: What are recommended drinking temperatures? And a Trio of wines from Aldi & Lidl

December 1, 2020

We are officially into the final month of the year. For many, I know you'll be glad to see the back of it. But for us at Wine List, there have been a lot of positives.

This has been a defining year for us. As of this month, we'll have shipped close to 25,000 bottles of wine, we've got thousands of you on our wine course, and we now import our own wines directly. This time last year, we had just 80 of you as customers.

As is now tradition, we'll be ending the year with some End of Year Lists. Expect to see some fun ones in coming weeks.

110% funded on Crowdcube

We hit our 100% mark on the first day of Crowdcube and are now at 110%. We've put an allowance in for extra space in our fundraising round – so if you're interested, there's still chance to invest now.

Gifts are live 📦

After many, many (many!) requests, we have set up our gifting function properly. If you want to give Wine List as a gift to someone this year – or stock up on stocking fillers, wine glasses or decanters – then head to our gifts section now.

Rose Blake x Wine List

Our first tote bag in September went down so well, that we decided to do another. This time we've enlisted the beautiful illustration of Rose Blake. Rose is an extremely talented artist, designer and illustrator, and we love her design for our December tote. These are pretty limited.

Want a Wine List Christmas Party?

We've got a lot of bookings already for December – but we've still got some spaces. We're the perfect get together for teams from 10 to 100 – get wine delivered, learn how to taste and have a great time all in one. Hit reply to enquire.


Aldi & Lidl Trio

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a rarity. Spotting it at the supermarket is even rarer. So we were delighted to taste Aldi's recently. At £14.99, it's not cheap, but it's a delight to drink for anyone who loves a Rhône white. Like white flowers and stone fruits in your wine? You'll like this.

Rías Biaxias (pronounced ree-as bi-shas) Albariño is another Aldi delight. This time at just £6.99, it's a bargain. Like the white CdP, this has some strong stone fruit aromas to it, but it's a lot more floral. Making it a great wine to have alongside the above to see where your taste lies.

Finally, given that it's December, we've got a red to punch things up a bit. Barolo DOCG 2014, priced at £11.99 from Lidl, is just the thing you'll be looking for. This is spicy with dark cherries and roses on the nose. It's full-bodied, with great tannic structure.


Drinking temperatures

This question comes from Lisa: Why do some wines come with recommended drinking temperatures?

Temperature affects wine in a variety of ways. It affects flavours and aromas – too cold and you mute the flavours, too hot and it cooks them out. It also affects perception of other characteristics such as tannins and bitterness.

In general, we all serve our reds too hot and our whites too cold.

Light reds (pinot noir, gamay, cabernet franc), should be served around 13, and medium-to-full bodied reds between 15-18. The average British thermostat is 21 degrees, meaning if you the modern "room temperature" is far too hot for reds. They'll go bitter and flat too high.  

Light whites should be served from 7 degrees, with medium to full whites at 10-13. Fridges on average cool to 4 degrees – again meaning wines which are too cold.

To warm wine up, hold the glass in your hands to heat it gently – but you can also pop it in the microwave in 10 second bursts until you get to the desired temp. (Don't take our word for it a Master of Wine did it too).

To cool reds if your house is too hot, 15-30 minutes in the fridge before drinking will be great. And to get whites up to the right temperature, taking them out of the fridge 15-30 minutes will do the same job.

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