The 2018s are a crazy bunch of rather generous, rich wines, most – if not all – on the slightly hot side.
It is therefore relevant to look at their optimal serving temperatures, as the wines sometimes lack a bit of freshness and acidity.
Furthermore, some wines tend to over-ripeness, and they will generally benefit from a cooler serving temperature and an informed choice of stemware
Serving temperatures – in general
In my view, red Burgundies should be served at 14-15 Celsius, a temperature that lets the wine unfold as it rises to the optimal drinking temperature of about 15-16 degrees.
White Burgundies should be served at 7–10 degrees, allowing development in the glass as the temperature rises to an optimal 10-11 degrees or so.
Serving temperatures – the 2018 vintage
With global warming, ripeness levels in wine are on the increase, and the acidity of many wines tends to be lower. These changes call for some reflection and possible adjustment of serving temperatures.
Hot vintages should, in my view, be served on the cooler side to bring out freshness, acidity, and mineral notes. Both reds and whites benefit from observing this rule.
This is, in the end, a personal preference, but one can always let the wine warm up in the glass, hence also permitting some oxidation as the temperature modulation continues.
In my view, serving with red 2018s at around 12 degrees will allow the temperature to adjust as the wine get some air and the first sips are taken.
To my taste, the 2018 reds should not be drunk warmer than 16 degrees; 15 is even better.
For the whites, start at 7 degrees and let the wine adjust as you taste and evaluate it. In general, whites should not go beyond 11 Celcius in these hot years.
As always, give the wine time. A lot of great wines have been ruined by high temperatures and stressed serving.
Stressless serving is fundamental to enjoyment
Many old guidelines regarding serving and storage temperatures are from a time when people had dedicated wine cellars and a room temperature of around 16 Celsius.
This is rarely the case anymore, with room temperatures often reaching 20 to 22 Celsius. This is not a temperature at which to either store or drink Burgundies.
A lot of people therefore need a cooled room, cellar or wine fridge to observe the rules about serving temperatures.
A wine fridge with two temperature zones can be ideal for many collectors, as this will ensure perfect condition for the wines you want to taste,
To me, it’s the ultimate luxury to have both red and white Burgundies ready at optimal temperatures (12 and 7 Celcius) near the kitchen or dining room. Just pop the bottle and focus on enjoyment and hedonistic indulgence. It’s easy, convenient and the focus is on pleasure. Too many wines are tasted too warm, desperately waiting for the cooling sleeve to work its magic. That said, violent and quick chilling of wine is rarely a great idea.
Many of the 2018s are hot and rich, and this would normally lead to a choice of stems that enhance the structural components and freshness of the wine.
While this could point in the direction of Zalto Burgundy stems, for me this is a strategy that won’t solve all problems.
The slightly overripe notes in many 2018s are, I think, minimised with a more forgiving stem like Riedel Vinum Pinot Noir, although it will not exactly bring extra structural focus to the wine.
But use the temperature to adjust the freshness, and the stem to compensate for the somewhat overripe notes.