WART Campaign update

A bit of renewed interest (and support) in my campaign to get wines served at the right temperature but I fear I am fighting a losing battle.

I dined at Fino last week, an upmarket tapas place on Charlotte Street, London.  I ordered a bottle of Crianza and asked what temperature it would be served at.  The Spanish waiter handed me a bottle from the shelf behind that was about 25°C.  I volunteered that the people of La Rioja would never serve it so warm and was met with a resigned shrug.  “The customers complain if we serve it at the recommended temperature”.

Similar conversations I have had in numerous restaurants across the country always fall into two categories.  The first is the Fino example where the waiter points to the ignorance of the British public.  The second is where the waiter is one of the ignorami.  On more than one occasion I have been told that I cannot have an ice bucket for my red wine.

We Brits have it so drilled into our psyche that red wine should be tropical and white wine arctic that I wonder if we will ever change.

You might ask who the hell I am to determine what temperature a wine should be served at and people should drink to personal taste.  I totally agree with that, but it is not me who makes the suggestion, it is the person who made the wine and by listening to them, I have much improved my enjoyment of wine.  Furthermore, almost everyone I have forced to try a red in the teens rather than twenties has considered it a revelation.  It is a shame to spend so much money on wine and not get maximum enjoyment out of it.  But live and let live eh?

So if you run a restaurant, I understand that you have to play to your customer base.  Just please don’t look at me like I’m a pig at an H1N1 conference if I ask for an ice bucket when you serve me a red from your wine oven.

3 Responses to “WART Campaign update”

  1. Confessions of a Wino » Blog Archive » WART Campaign goes Facebook Says:

    […] Wine At Right Temperature Campaign now has a Facebook Group.  If you are sick of frostbite on your lips from drinking a […]

  2. Ricard Says:

    Well said! I often have to send red wine back when it’s a horrible soupy temperature, accentuating the tannins and making the acidity totally unpalatable, and regularly request that it be dipped in an icebucket for ten minutes. Sometimes they look bemused, but most of the time they comply with a shrug, making me feel like *I* am the weirdo. With the obscene markups you have to pay in this country anyway, it’s unforgiveable that they should treat wine with such disrespect, and help perpetuate ignorance.

  3. Short & Simple: Wine temperature is f*****g important! « André Ribeirinho's Blog Says:

    […] lover Alastair Bathgate created the smartly named WART (Wine At The Right Temperature) campaign a while ago to help promote wine at the right temperature amongst restaurants and wine bars. Join the campaign […]

Leave a Reply