Wine Serving Temperatures

Most people seem to automatically assume that wine temperature works like this: reds are best served at warmer temps, and whites are to be chilled. Well, it’s a bit more complex: there are temperature distinctions that should be made among different types of wine in order to bring out optimal flavor. So pour yourself a glass of chilled pinot noir (yes, chilled), and read on to learn which wines should be served at which temperatures.

Wine Temperature | Chilled Pinot Noir | Rainstorm Wines

A good rule of thumb to follow when serving wine is this:

  • Serve red wine between 60 and 68 degrees
  • Serve white wine between 45 and 55 degrees

Of course, the exact temperature to serve a specific bottle of wine depends on the varietal you have. For instance, pinot grigio is recommended to be served at 45 degrees, while chardonnay should be served at 50. Even though they’re both white wines, there’s a 5-degree temperature difference for optimal flavor.  Now you see the challenge when serving wine!

The reason we even pay attention to wine temperature is because different temperatures bring out different flavors. When whites are too warm, they can taste flat; when served too cold, the flavors aren’t fully developed, leaving the wine tasting “simple.” Reds face similar problems. Too cool, and your wine will taste overly acidic; too warm, and it will taste excessively alcoholic.

Now you’re probably wondering, “How on earth is the average wine drinker supposed to find the optimal temperature for their wine?!” It’s easy, really. Look on the bottle. Many wine labels come with serving suggestions, so you know exactly at what temperature your wine will taste the best. And, if it’s not the on the label, a quick search online should turn up an answer.

But there’s one lingering aspect we need to cover, and that is whether or not these wine temperature rules should always be followed. The quick answer is, nope!

There are certain reds that can handle a bit of a chill, and in fact, the colder temperature can actually help the flavors develop. When you want to serve a chilled red, opt for a light-bodied wine with low tannins, and preferably one that has fruity or floral notes to it. Chilled pinot noir is a popular choice, as are malbecs and zinfandel. Opt for a temperature of about 50-55 degrees, as this will make fruit aspects pop without elevating the tannins to the forefront.

For the best tasting experience, it’s important to always pay attention to wine temperature. We’re not suggesting you run out and buy a wine fridge right now (although they are pretty awesome), but just take a minute to get acquainted with your bottle of wine and it’s optimal serving parameters. You’ll thank us later.

Portland Hikes: Top Trails in Forest Park

If you’re looking for a list of some great Portland hikes, look no further. We’ve got you covered with a list of the top trails in Forest Park, just west of downtown. All you need to do is lace up your boots and hit the trail!

Portland Hikes | Rainstorm Wine

1. Maple Trail

With autumn right around the corner, it’s only right that Maple Trail get mentioned first. This 2.6 mile trail twists and turns underneath towering red alders and bigleaf maples, transforming the whole area into a sea of crimson and yellow each fall.  

2. Wildwood Trail

Accessed rom Washington Park, this paved trail is great for a leisurely stroll amongst the old-growth trees. There are lots of benches along the way so you can stop and admire the natural beauty. From Wildwood, you can also connect to Nature Trail, which offers up some ideal picnic spots. Spread out a blanket, open your Rainstorm wine, and you’ve got yourself a perfect afternoon!  

3. Ridge Trail

This 2.8 mile out-and-back trail is best known for its insane views of St. John’s Bridge. The bridge is one of Portland’s most photographed features. Be prepared to climb, though. It’s downhill to start, then uphill to make it back to the trailhead. But trust us, it’s worth it.

4. Lower Macleay Trail

One of the most popular trails in Forest Park, don’t let the heavy foot traffic deter you. The 5-mile path showcases the amazing diversity of the park’s plantlife, with waterfalls and wooden bridges found along the way. And then there’s the old Stone House, which is actually an old Public Works building date from the 1930s. All that’s left is the stone framework, but nature has been slowly reclaiming it since the early 60s, giving it an eerily beautiful appearance.

5. Audubon Society Loop

Located off NW Cornell Road, a 150-acre reserve is home to more than 40 bird species. Miles of trails traverse the forest, offering glimpses of birds, birds, and – you guessed it – more birds. Pro tip: Don’t forget to pack your field guide, and make sure to stop in at the Wildlife Care Center to learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Portland is so much more than a big city. With Forest Park right next door, you can escape to the great outdoors using one of the Portland hikes above, or chart your own route. Wherever you’re headed, toast to your adventure with a glass of Rainstorm wine!

A Closer Look at the Wines of Oregon’s Willamette Valley

There is a not-so-hidden treasure in our own backyard: Willamette Valley vineyards. Thanks to the region’s wet and wild conditions, diverse terrain, and loving care of expert producers, the wines of Oregon compete with any in the world. One sip will convince you.

Wines of Oregon | Willamette Valley Vineyards | Rainstorm Wines

Challenge Accepted

Crafting delicious, elegant, smooth wine is not easy in Oregon. The area is renowned for its rainfall, not its sunshine. The Pinot Noir grape, the most common here, is renowned for its sensitivity. But fortunately, our growers and producers are renowned for their passion. They know the land; they know their grapes; and, without a doubt, they know their wines.

It is this blend of expertise and zeal that empowers Willamette Valley vineyards to deliver exceptional wines, including:

Pinot Noir: This grape is beloved; it makes up nearly 75% of all of the region’s plantings. Temperatures and terrains make a significant difference in the taste of the wine. Rainstorm’s grapes, for example, are grown on ridges. This encourages robust flavor and low yields – which imparts immense character. Fruit-forward, elegant, with bright fruit notes, this Pinot Noir elevates any dish.

Pinot Gris: For fans of white, Pinot Gris packs a powerful personality – in a smooth body. Rainstorm wines use grapes harvested by hand to avoid piercing the delicate skins. Pressed and fermented at cold temperatures, the resulting wine is complex, bone dry, and completely refreshing.

Rosé: This crowd-pleaser deserves a seat at the table when it comes to the fine wines of Oregon. The Valley’s cool climate ensures the Pinot Noir grapes are elegant and earthy. For those lovely fruit tones, we use a technique called “saignée.” This means “bleeding off” a bit of red wine juice after its been in contact with seeds and skins. The result is a more robust, structured wine.

Take a closer look at the wines of Oregon. Or better yet, a closer taste.