Unless you carry an instant-read thermometer with you most of the time, you’ll have a hard time abiding by specific serving-temperature suggestions for wine. And to be quite honest, unless you’re a working sommelier or an obsessive perfectionist it’s not imperative to keep tabs on the precise temperature of the wine in your glass to ensure enjoyment. There are, however, a few easy ways to maximize that enjoyment through some general temperature guidelines.
Not all whites are best when served chilled and some reds really shine after a little time on ice. White wines that are young, light, minerally, and bright (Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde) are usually best with a light chill, while Sparkling wines like Champagne, Lambrusco, and Prosecco should be kept on ice. Light, young red wines like Beaujolais or Valpolicella or more complex whites (Chardonnay, Riesling) benefit from being cool, while dark, rich, and full-bodied reds (Cabernet Saugvingnon, Syrah) are best at just below room temperature – as long as you don’t keep your house at 70 degrees! Think about how those wines would feel after 5 minutes in the fridge – that’s a fairly good idea of a good temperature for those bold reds.
At the end of the day, the “right” temperature to serve your wine is the temperature you like best. So relax – and enjoy!