How to keep your cold cuts, cheeses and red wine fresh in summer
What do you think first if I say summer? Holidays, of course…but also the heat.
And if the morning passes with the necessary help of air conditioners and fans, evening is the best time to relax. What is better than drinking an iced sparkling wine by the sea or enjoying a good white wine, served cold in the wine bar of the charming village that we’re visiting?
The Red (wine) goes on holiday!
Yes, as everybody knows, summer is almost the undisputed kingdom of the White wine! Low temperatures, at which it is served, better enhance its structure, without tannins and more rich in acid components. It’s the ideal to freshen up after a very hot day!
And the Red wine? Well, you know, red wine and fridge aren’t best friends!
As my friend sommelier always says, there are red wines that could, or rather, must be served at low temperatures: for example, the young, sparkling red wines, without tannins, which are better to drink cold.
But if we’re thinking of a classical red wine, aged and structured, we have to know that the ideal temperature to serve it is between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius, that in winter is the ambient temperature.
Red wine is a good friend in autumn evenings, is the ideal lover that warms your heart by the fireplace, during the cold winter. But how to conserve it in summer?
The ideal place for its holidays must be:
– without sources of direct lighting (better if it’s a dark place),
– cool, with a temperature between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius,
– wet (with a humidity of 60-75%),
– without extreme temperature changes.
The place that most of all reflects all these characteristics is the cellar, which is the perfect and beloved home for Red wine, because it’s wet at the right point, dark, cool and without temperature changes. However, not all of us have this room in our houses. So, it might be useful to buy a little dedicated fridge, that can keep constant temperature and humidity. It can be located in a closet or in another dimly lit room.
Red wine has a lovable but also particular character, so don’t conserve it with other food: it might absorb their odors. Remember that it doesn’t like vibrations: therefore, lockers near household appliances, like dishwashers and centrifuge, are not recommended.
Do you want another golden rule? Store your Red wine in a horizontal position, just as if it was sleeping: in this way, the cap will get in touch with the liquid and it will remain moist and compact. So the bottle will be sealed, avoiding the entry of the air.
What remains of a summer evening and how to conserve it at best
Put on a summer evening, a terrace and some friends. Add the right company to make everything unforgettable: a delicate carpaccio of Brisaula Ossolana, with a very low fat content and a unique taste, obtained by adding herbs, spices and red wine to the curing.
Or a cheese platter with an incredible taste, like the Toma del Monte Barro: created in one of most charming places in Piedmont, its preparation starts from pasteurized milk and ends with the addition of a ferment, that gives it a strong taste and the typical veins.
Another delicious option? The Elvo Valley Tometta, a small-sized cheese produced in the province of Biella, with the rind with saffron. Its intense and sweet taste is better served with fresh fruit.
But how to conserve in the best way cheeses and salami, opened for our tasting? The summer heat, you know, doesn’t get along with them, just like the Red wine! The heat, in fact, threatens to deteriorate them and to damage their organoleptic characteristics. They also need to avoid, as much as possible, the contact with the air, that favours the oxidation and the bacterial proliferation.
That’s why the best way to conserve opened salami is to put them under vacuum. Do you know that, in this way, you can store them in the fridge for two months? They will not lose their taste and you could eat them in the highest hygienic safety.
The situation is different with the cold cuts: even if you put them under vacuum and store them in the fridge, you must eat them within 5 days.
If we don’t have the vacuum-packed, we can wrap the opened side of the salami in a clean cloth and stop the end with a string. Then, you only have to store it in the fridge and eat it in a few days, after removing the first slice.
Cold cuts, instead, must be wrapped in silver paper or in cling film, to avoid contact with the air, as much as possible. They have to be stored in the lower part of the fridge and consumed within three days: it’s a very easy job, thanks to their goodness, isn’t it?
And the cheeses? In this case, too, the ideal storage method is under vacuum but you can only use it with hard or semi-hard cheeses. Alternatively, you have to know that fresh cheeses can be stored in the highest and coldest part of the fridge, while aged cheeses can be stored in the lower and less cold part (about 10 degrees Celsius). I advise you not to wrap them in cling film, because it could dry the cheeses excessively. So, you can use the wax paper or special containers, that optimally regulate temperature and humidity.
Don’t put your cheeses in touch with other food, because they are highly sensitive to microbial contamination.
– Until next time, With love!