How Weather and Temperature Alter Wine

Posted by Barterhouse on March 15, 2021

Some things are hot and cold within the wine world; however, the way we think about temperature’s effect on wine has yet to waver. That goes for the growth of the grapes, along with the temperature at which wine is served. Expand your wine’s taste potential by learning about how sunlight and warmth affect the grapes’ flavors and how serving temperature alters each experience.

Weather and Grape Growth
When the weather is warmer, it makes sense that grapes ripen faster, but what else does this mean for wine? When grapes ripen faster, the acid level drops, and the amount of sugar rises. With more sugar comes more alcohol, leading to more of a full-bodied wine. Warm, sunny skies mean that the fruit will also be softer and sweeter. If you want a full-bodied, sweet wine, you want the grapes grown when it is warmer and dryer.

Consequently, the reverse is also true. Grapes that are grown in cooler temperatures will have a fresher and tarter fruit taste. There will also be a higher acidity and lower sugar level. With less sugar, there will be less alcohol. As a result of a lower amount of alcohol, you will get a lighter-bodied wine.

But it is not just temperature that alters the taste of the grapes. Rain also changes the way the grapes grow and how wine tastes. More sunlight equals more sugar. So, rainy seasons will yield less sweet wine. There is also a danger of waterlogged grapes, which would affect the taste. Depending on what type of wine you are most interested in, this could work for or against your palate.

Serving Temperature and Taste
There are several reasons why you want to serve wine at just the right temperature. If the wine is too warm, you will taste more of the alcohol and be left with a flat flavor. On the flip side, if the wine is too cold, you will not receive the flavors’ full effect. And if you are drinking red, you may end up with harsh-flavored tannins.

So what is the perfect temperature for wine? Check out this breakdown:

For rosés, white wines, and sparkling wines, you want to keep them on the cool side to preserve the wine’s crisp and fruity feel. Serve these wines at 40-50 degrees to protect the delicate balance.

Full-bodied whites and fruity red wines, however, should be served a little warmer. 50-60 degrees is perfect for picking up the intricacies of flavor that these wines provide.

Finally, when it comes to full-bodied reds and ports, serve these between 6-65 degrees to accentuate the flavors and avoid making the tannins bitter. When these wines are warmer, they end up sweeter and less acidic.

Taste for Yourself

Enjoy the following Barterhouse wines to help you highlight the differences. From the hills of Florence comes the award-winning  Conte Ferdinando Guicciardini, whose velvety mature tannins feature a plum flavor with a balsamic finish. Grown in the warmth and with 14% alcohol, this will surely please your palate.

This Jules Rosé from the 2019 vintage comes from grapes that were grown during a more arid summer and took a long time to ripen. With flavors of white peach and pomelo, you will be overcome with the fruitiness of this wine and enjoy the crisp fresh taste.
When it comes to enjoying a tasteful pour, sometimes people get so worried about the type of wine they are drinking. However, where the grapes were grown and the weather during the growing season is also essential. Be mindful of the temperature at which you serve as well! If you consider these elements, you will set yourself up for a delightful glass of wine.

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