Archive for January, 2015



Here’s a couple of short helpful hints about when and how to chill still and sparkling wines. There are a couple of fallacies that need to be corrected as well as some guidelines. Wine isn’t fussy, but it’s best not to just open and pour. Temperature affects aromas and flavors. too cold and the delightful fresh aromas and flavors of white wine are dulled. The sensation of alcohol overwhelms characteristics of red wine when it is served too warm.

White wines should be served around 50 to 55 degrees F.  Wine can be stores in a wine refrigerator, in a cool cellar, or in your kitchen fridge. Notice if frost appears on the glass when wine is poured a bottle. Not to worry. Wait a few moments and the temperature of the room will work some magic, sometimes going overboard by over-warming the wine.

But if you can’t wait for that first sip, hug the bowl of the glass with both hands. That’s a good  warming trick whether dealing with a good friend or a glass of wine.

For a quick chill, put the wine in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Set a timer or the cork might blow out of the bottle. An alternative, fill a bucket with a mixture of cold water and ice cubes.

Most everyone knows red wine should be served at room temperature, but what is room temperature exactly? Is it the temperature of a heated dining room in winter or one blasted by air-conditioning in the summer?Actually, the correct term for serving wine is cellar temperature which is a few degrees cooler than our living quarters.  So does that mean we are generally drinking red wine too warm? Roses, light-bodied reds, whites, and sparkling wines are best at 40-50F. Full-bodied reds wines should be served around 60-65F. I’ve seen winemakers drop a couple of ice cubes in a glass of Zin, or other lighter bodied red, although I personally wouldn’t subject a top quality Cab to “ice-water torture.”

Champagne and other sparkling wines are best when served around 40-45F. to keep the bubbles small and fine.

It’s always best to start with a slightly lower temperature and let the wine warm up which it will always do. After pouring the first round, remember to put the bottle of white or some reds and sparkling wines back in the ice bucket. Red can hand around waiting to be finished.