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Wine temperature innovation from Taylors’

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Wine tastes different at different temperatures, which is why I was curious to have a look at Taylors’ (tastings) latest innovation: a thermal back-label. How did they get a thermometer into a paperwine label? No idea. But this is how it works.

There is a coloured square on the back-label,
which changes colour according to temperature. There is a colour key printed
beside it, to interpret the colour changes. It shows you how the colour of the
sensor grades from dark blue through greens and finally to yellow as the wine
warms.

So far, it’s only on their ‘estate’ range
white wines such as pinot grigio and sauvignon blanc. The label tells me the 2014 Adelaide Hills
sauvignon blanc (tasting) has an optimum drinking temperature of 6 to 8 degrees Celsius. This
range is represented by various shades of green on the colour key. For this
wine, less than 5 degrees (dark blue) is too cold and over 9 (yellow) is too
warm, according to winemaker Adam Eggins. The strange thing is, the temperature
gauge on the label had little agreement with my wine thermometer, which I
placed in the wineglass each time I served the wine at various time intervals.

Example: when the bottle said the wine was
around 9 degrees my thermometer read 14; and when the bottle said it was about
7 degrees, my thermometer said 10. Why?

It’s possible the wine was warmed slightly
every time I poured it into my room-temperature glass. Or it may be that the
label sensor just isn’t very accurate.

No matter. The principle is sound, and the
idea is a good one. And I did notice the wine was less-appealing when
fridge-fresh (about 4 to 5 degrees C, which is dark-blue), and went off by the
time the label’s indicator went to yellow – which means too warm. Only trouble
is, the actual temp in my glass by then was 18!

Just for the record, the wine at fridge
temperature tasted too delicate, slightly too sweet and hollow. Its fruit was
suppressed. As it entered the drinking zone, it seemed to have more bouquet,
and more flavour, which balanced the obvious residual sugar. And when the wine
became too warm its aroma faded, and the palate was again acidic and sweet with
a hollow middle. There was definitely a ‘sweet spot’ for this wine. As there
probably is for all wines. It’s worth paying more attention to serving
temperatures.

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