Wine Basics Part 4

April 29, 2010

Wine Basics Part 4

Is there a certain temperature at which I should serve wine? 
Wines should be served at temperatures they taste best. More specifically, wine should be served at the temperature you enjoy it. Usually white wines, rosés, Champagnes/sparkling wines taste best chilled because they are most refreshing served that way. Red wines are typically served at room temperature. But, room temperature is relative as we all live in different climates. Here are some more detailed guidelines -

White wines and rosés are best served between 45 and 55 degrees. Serve lighter white/rosé wines and Champagnes/sparkling wines closer to 45 degrees. You can achieve these temperatures by chilling the wine in the refrigerator for about 2 hours. If you find the wine is too cold, drink it after it has been out of the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Red wines taste best served between 55 and 65 degrees. Serve lighter red wines closer to 55 degrees. If your home runs hot, keep your wine in a cool spot like a basement or garage. Alternatively, chill your reds in the refriger 

What do I do if I forget to chill the wine and I need to serve it immediately? 

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to chill wine quickly, put the wine in a container filled with water and ice and it will cut your chilling time down to half an hour. Otherwise, if you have time, chilling wine in the refrigerator takes about two hours. 

Which varietals are considered light and which are considered full-bodied? 
The following white wines/rosés are listed from lightest to fullest-bodied:

White Zinfandel, 
Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, 
Sauvignon Blanc/Fumé Blanc, 
Pinot Blanc, 
Sémillon, Viognier, 

The following red wines are listed from lightest to fullest-bodied:

Pinot Noir, 
Cabernet Franc, 
Cabernet Sauvignon, 

Information courtesy of Wine Market Council.