While many red wines display the best flavor and bouquet at room temperature, most people prefer to drink sparkling red wines chilled. Knowing how to best serve this type of wine will help ensure you and your guests enjoy this popular and bubbly option.
Basics of Chilling Sparkling Reds for Wonderful Bubbles
All sparkling wines need to be chilled whether they are red, white, or rosé. According to Wine Spectator Magazine, sparkling red wines, such as a sparkling Shiraz, are at their best when chilled. The cooler temperature maximizes the bubbles and gives the wine a delicious crispness. However, chilling it for too long can cause some of the delicate flavors to become muted and easily overshadowed. After chilling, it's best to let wines sit for about 10 minutes on the counter before you serve it so it isn't overchilled.
How to Chill Sparkling Reds in the Refrigerator
Whether white or red, Southern Living recommends chilling sparkling wine for about four hours in your refrigerator. Wine Spectator Magazine suggests removing the wine from your fridge about 10 minutes prior to serving it. This allows the wine to warm slightly so the flavor can really shine.
How to Chill Sparkling Red Wine in an Ice Bucket
Southern Living suggests using an ice bucket to chill sparkling wine whether you're serving red or white. Place the bottle upright in the bucket and add ice and water. Leave the bottle in the ice water for about 30 minutes to get the perfect serving temperature. Occasionally, turn the bottle in the ice to ensure it chills evenly.
If you chill your wine in an ice bucket, be sure to wrap the bottle in a towel before you pour so the wet bottle doesn't slip out of your hands.
Never Chill It in the Freezer
Although you can also chill your wine for about 15 to 30 minutes in the freezer, wine experts advise against this practice. In the flurry of activity that comes with preparing for a dinner party or other event, it's easy to forget about your chilling wine. If this happens, you could end up with an exploded bottle and a big mess in your freezer. Instead, try a rapid wine chiller if you're in a hurry.
Chilling to a Specific Temperature
All types of sparkling wine--regardless of the color--need to be chilled to the same temperature. The ideal temperature for serving sparkling wine is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Because most refrigerators are about 35 degrees, it's essential that you remove the wine and allow it to warm for a few minutes before you serve it.
Sparkling wine lends a festive air to any gathering, and bubbly red wines offer a beautiful and complex alternative to the traditional white varieties. Whether you select a sweet sparkling wine or a drier option, you'll find that properly chilling the red bubbly will give you maximum enjoyment.