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Clare Valley's Wakefield Estate and Promised Land wines use thermo-chromatic ink to identify optimum temperatures.

James Oliver Cury
Updated May 24, 2017

No one wants to drink a glass of 85-degree Cabernet Sauvignon. Nor do we hope to sip Sauvignon Blanc at near-freezing temperatures. And yet, despite the fact that we all agree on these points, it is not uncommon to find perfectly good wines served way too hot or cold. Who do you blame? The server? The sommelier? The bar owner? Your fridge? To combat this problem, one Australian winery is launching a new temperature-sensitive wine label that displays a color chart showing optimum temperatures across a broad spectrum of wines—Riesling, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and so on—and identifies the temperature of the bottle in your hands, so you can see whether it's ready to be poured.

Starting in April of this year, Clare Valley's and Promised Land wines will have the sensor technology in their labels. The idea is simple, even if the science to make it work is not: Thermo-chromatic ink changes color depending on the temperature of the bottle. So, for example, the hyper-sensitive part of the label turns green when white or sparkling wine has reached optimum temperature and turns fuchsia for red wines.

Innovative as this technology sounds, the company has been using it since last year on its Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc wines. It developed the system after learning that a majority of Australians drink wine straight from the refrigerator when it is still too cold—and that one in five regularly drank wine right after it had been stored in the freezer. Ice-cold Chardonnay, anyone?

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