Myth: Red wine is best served at room temperature and white wine is best right out of the fridge.
Busted: Both red and white are best enjoyed when served somewhere between room and fridge temperature. We Americans tend to over-chill our whites & under-chill our reds.
The “room temperature” rationale for reds was originally based on the temperature of a drafty old castle in France where it is usually 60 to 65 degrees, considerably cooler than the average 72 degrees of most modern homes. Serving a red too warm at today’s room temperature–or worse yet at an outdoor party at 80 degrees or more–will accentuate the impression of alcohol, making it taste flat and lifeless. One served too cold will lose its fruit & floral notes enhancing the presence of tannins.
Whites and rosés often suffer from being served too cold. These style wines are usually delicate in flavors and aromas, so serving them right out of the fridge will mute these subtle features. To maximize your enjoyment of whites and rosés, try serving them a bit warmer than fridge temperature, at around 50 to 55 degrees.
Sparkling wines do just fine right out of the fridge, unless you are having a very expensive bottle that you might get more out of at a temperature closer to white/rose wines,
The goal is to get the best experience out of the wine you are drinking. As with anything wine related, your own personal tastes will determine what works best for you. A rule of thumb for getting to the “ideal” temperature is to put your reds IN the fridge for 20 minutes before serving & take your whites OUT of the fridge 20 minutes before serving. Give this a try & see if you enjoy your wine even more!
This week’s Somm recommendations:
Conde Villar Alvarinho
Portugal, $14.99. This is a lovely aromatic white wine that is ideal with seafood or just relaxing with friends. Crisp, light and full of peaches!
Castano Solanera Yecla, Spain $15.99…bursting with juicy berry flavors and soft tannins…94pts from Robert Parker.
“Wine is proof that God loves us & wants us to be happy.”
– Benjamin Franklin