Wine taste bad? The temperature may be to blame, but this gadget can help

There are more than 33 billion bottles of wine consumed worldwide every year — and apparently, 75 percent of them are served at the wrong temperature. The Kelvin K2 Smart Wine Monitor is designed to solve that problem and help you get the maximum flavor from your chosen tipple. As tech journalists, we’re in favor of anything that enhances our drinking experience, so we got a demo of this clever gadget at IFA in Berlin.

If you’re anything like us, you probably serve white wine from the fridge and red wine at room temperature. Well, it turns out that for many types of wine, you’re doing it wrong. The inventor of the wine monitor, Steve Parker, only discovered this himself after tasting a bottle of chardonnay that had been recommended to him by the local wine store and finding it unpleasant. He reported his disappointment, and the wine store manager inquired about the temperature at which he had served it.

It turns out that chardonnay should be served at 12 degrees centigrade, instead of 4 or 5 degrees, which is how cold most fridges are. Upon tasting it again, Parker was blown away by the difference, and so he set out to create a wine thermometer.

The Kelvin K2 Smart Wine Monitor is a band that you can affix to your chosen bottle of wine. There’s a sensor in the middle that must be in contact with the bottle, so it’s best lined up underneath the label — this also allows you to continue to monitor the wine temperature as you guzzle it. The sensor is surrounded by a foam material that insulates it, to ensure that it measures the temperature of the wine and not the temperature of the inside of your fridge.

What’s cool about this device is that it pairs up with your phone via an Android or iOS app, and it will alert you when the wine is at optimal drinking temperature. Pop the cork and experience the complex balance of flavours as the maker intended. The app lists over 200 wine varieties, so you can find the right temperature for your bottle. Parker told us that Kelvin hopes to strike a partnership in future (perhaps with someone like Vivino) or develop the app further so you can just scan the bottle, instead of having to enter the variety of wine manually.

According to wine expert, Jancis Robinson, “Temperature is the single most important aspect of serving any wine. You can change completely how a wine tastes by serving it too cool or too warm.”

Interestingly, getting the right temperature can have a bigger impact on the taste of cheap bottles of wine than it will on high end bottles, so this could be a gadget worth having. If you fancy trying it out, the Kelvin K2 Smart Wine Monitor costs £40 (around $50). You can find out more at the Kelvin website, and we plan to test it out for ourselves soon, so stay tuned for our impressions.

If you’re a wine drinker, then you may also be interested in our roundup of the best wine apps or gadgets designed to improve the taste of cheap wine.