Wine and Knowing What Matters

Generally speaking, wines that are served warm at room temperature are wines that work well in the cool months of the year. The food is richer so the wines need to be full bodied. But before you tick that box, consider what room temperature actually means.

The French have maintained since medieval times that red wines are best served between 15 – 18 degrees. Wine tends to lose freshness and finesse if served at 25 degrees and higher so if your room is very warm, you may need to chill the wine for a few minutes before serving. 

A favourite of mine is Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s a dry, full bodied red with rich dark fruits and a long finish and has enough acidity to cut though any fat in meat dishes. It’s wonderful with slow cooked braised beef in front of a roaring fire.

Another red to keep in mind for winter is Rutherglen favourite, Durif. Its soft, ripe fruit flavours and firm finish give it real elegance. 

Shiraz is a popular winter red – full-bodied with notes of black pepper and red berries and suits the heartiest winter food.

So many wine lovers resist trying new reds but there’s lots of reward in being brave with your wine. The wine label will give you a few clues. For example, it will tell you what vintage the grapes were harvested and will help you in your decision making if you are familiar with vintage variations. If you’re not, ask us! We’re on hand to help!

Another clue is the alcohol by volume level. The alcohol level is an indicator of how big or rich the wine may taste – the higher the alcohol level the richer the wine. This however is a generalization and there are exceptions.

Visit us at for more information on red wine.

Nick Brown

General Manager and Winemaker at All Saints Estate