Wine Serving Temperature

Beer and Wine, Drinks, How-To, Wine 101
on August 1, 2007
Wine serving temperature
Mark Boughton

Q. I was astonished to see a friend pull a bottle of red wine out of the refrigerator before serving it. Aren’t white wines the only ones that are supposed to be chilled?

A. Serving wines too warm can make them seem flabby, overly sweet and highly alcoholic, while serving them too cold can dial down flavor and aroma to the vanishing point. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this. Simply remove white wines from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before serving, and chill red wines in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes before pulling the cork. I have a sneaking suspicion this is what your friend was up to. And if so, he deserves a tip of the hat—or better yet, a tip of the glass, perfectly served.

—Charles Smothermon, a food and wine writer in Laurin, Mont.