Malcolm Jolley talks to Wakefield’s Justin Taylor about wine temperature and more…

Next time you’r ein the LCBO, head over to the Vintage’s Australian section and check out the bottles for the 2018 Wakefield Clare Valley Estate Chardonnay ($16.95), the 2018 Wakefield Clare Valley Estate Shiraz ($18.95), and/or the 2017 Wakefield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($19.95). On the back label you’ll see a series of coloured bars that correspond to temperature readings and to the right of that a square or a circle that’s actually thermometer that displays the bottle’s temperature by changing its colour. The point, Wakefield’s export manager Justin Taylor says, is to serve each bottle of wine at its ideal temperature, or at least as the winemaker intended it to be drunk.

Serous winos know about the relationship between taste and temperature, and will be familiar with the argument that North Americans (and Australians) tend to drink their white wines too cold and their red wines too warm. Justin Taylor and his Ontario agents, Profile Wine Group, demonstrated it last week at a lunch event he named ‘Celsius’. The invitees included more than one cynical wine journalist, but we were won over when Taylor served us two glass of each wine mentioned above, one at the Wakefield recommended temperature, and one ten degrees cooler for the Chardonnay, and one ten degrees warmer for the Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The white that was too cold lacked many for fruit and secondary characteristics the at point glass had, and so it was with the reds, though in this case the warmer glasses became figuratively ‘too hot’ by tasting more strongly of alcohol. It was fun, and could be easily replicated at home.

I interviewed Taylor at his hotel the day after the Celsius event for the video below. In it we discuss the tasting, the idea behind the thermometer label, Australian wine’s tough year and new wave of Australian wine making.

Email versions of this post won’t show videos. Please click here to see the video at GFR.