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Bucket List

Posted by Stephen Meuse  August 24, 2011 04:29 PM

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No, not that bucket list. We're talking about the list of red wines we prefer to drink only after they've had a good long sit in an ice bucket - enough to bring the temperature down to something distinctly chilly. 

If you know something of the pleasures of young, light-bodied red wines sipped cool, it's likely you acquired it somewhere outside the U.S. Here, the sub 60 degree red is either unknown or considered distinctly declassé.

To our curmudgeonly eye, the whole issue of wine serving temperatures is in need of a good working over. Since even good restaurants seldom get it right -- serving whites far too cold and reds far too warm -- one can hardly expect the average consumer to develop a sense of what's proper.   Proper temperature in this case referring not to some number in a tasting textbook, but simply to what brings out the best in a given wine. 

In our August column to appear in next Wednesday's Food section, we take up the subject of 60 degree reds, with a focus on wines from the France's Loire Valley.  The wine in the photo above left is from Thierry and Jean-Marie Puzelat's property, Le Clos du Tue-Boeuf, about an hour's drive east of Tours. Lithe and fruity, with modest alcohol and a crisp finish, is at its refreshing best at well-water -- or true cellar -- temperature (between 55 and 60 degrees).  It's one of five wines we suggest ought to be on your bucket list.

See a beautifully photographed and narrated tour of the Puzelat's winemaking operation at 
Ellen Bhang

About By the Glass

Ellen Bhang writes about food and wine and reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe. Wine is the focus of her degree in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University. She can be reached at


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