Microwaves are for Popcorn: Keep it Away from My Wine

Q: What’s the best way to quickly bring up the temperature of my red wine? Is a microwave recommended?

A: I rarely use microwaves. Period…and I certainly wouldn’t recommend using it to heat up wine. Some colleagues disagree. Wine columnist Matt Kramer once touted its use and I’ve heard that some winemakers and others use the technique. Sommeliers? You gotta be joking.

Polling twitter and facebook, wine drinkers and experts agreed that microwaving  is not the way to go.

Readers, do you agree? What technique do you use to warm up a chilled bottle of red?

For those that use the microwave,  could you clue the rest of us in on its usefulness and why you use it?


About the Author:

Editor and co-founder of Enobytes.com, Pamela is a sommelier and former restaurant manager and wine buyer with Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Court of Master Sommeliers & Center for Wine Origins certification. She has contributed to or been quoted by various publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Sommelier Journal, Vegetarian Times, VIV Magazine, UC-Berkeley Astrobiology News, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, NPR and USA Today. True to her roots, she seeks varietal and appellation integrity and is always passionate about finding the next great bottle of wine.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by enobytes wine online, enobytes wine online, enobytes wine online, Elizabeth DeHoff, Richard Schnitzlein and others. Richard Schnitzlein said: Can you put me down for a WTF? RT @enobytes: Microwaves are for Popcorn: Keep it Away from My Wine http://bit.ly/ah48vi […]

  2. Mike K July 30, 2010 at 8:36 PM - Reply

    there is no way this is a good idea for anything, not even mulled wine(the point of mulled wine is to infuse it with the mulling spices, which is best done low & slow) Plus, microwaves vary greatly, so you might have to ruin a few wines before you figure out the best timing & settings to use. Would love to hear from the proponents of this idea. Funny, though.

  3. Alexsommelier July 31, 2010 at 7:33 AM - Reply

    Wine and Microwaves, Sommelier secret???? It’s a little late for an April’s fool joke ;)

    I don’t know any sommelier that use or recomend microwaves.

    My idea is that wine should serve a little bit under the right temperature because in the glass the temperature always increase and sometime faster than we want.

  4. Nancy July 31, 2010 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    I hope this isn’t why the wine we are served in restaurants always seems too warm to me! At home we follow the guideline of taking our whites and roses out of the fridge about 20 minutes before drinking.

  5. enobytes July 31, 2010 at 4:12 PM - Reply

    Mike K – I’m not even good at experimenting with popcorn in the microwave! I tend to burn it often. ~Pamela

  6. enobytes July 31, 2010 at 4:13 PM - Reply

    Alex – yup, that Sommelier / Microwave story was quite a shocker. I agree with you about the temp.

  7. enobytes July 31, 2010 at 4:17 PM - Reply

    Nancy – good advice. It’s much better to allow the wine to gradually warm up slowly…As for restaurants, its probably more like a storage issue than heating it up in a microwave. To be honest, I used to work as a somm in SF and have many friends in the biz and none of us have heard of this microwave technique used in restaurants.

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