Too Hot, Too Cold!

What is the temp of your wine?

What’s the best temperature to serve a wine?  The age old response to the question is to serve white wines cold and red wines at room temperature.  But in this case not only is traditional wisdom out of synch with recent university studies, it’s also vague and misleading.  First and foremost, what is room temperature?  Room temperature varies from season to season and locale to locale.  In addition, the term doesn’t take into account modern heating and air conditioning, which greatly alter the temperature of a room.  Moreover, when the conventional wisdom of serving red wine at room temperature came into vague in England and France centuries ago, room temperature was likely 55°- 65° F, if you were lucky.  Not surprisingly, university studies confirm that the vast majority of wine drinkers garner the most flavor and pleasure from red wines consumed between 55°- 65° F, which is decidedly cooler than room temperature in most American homes.  Consequently, the term room temperature is useless to most of us today with central heating and air conditioning.

Conversely, recent studies indicate that wine drinkers report the greatest pleasure and taste from white wines consumed between 45°-55° F, which means we may be cheating ourselves by nearly freezing white wines before rapidly consuming them.  So, what’s a wine drinker to do?  Drink wine at the temperature that suits your palate of course.  Yet, you may want to experiment with some of your favorite red wines by cooling them down for 15-20 minutes in the refrigerator and allowing white wines to sit in a glass for 15 minutes before guzzling them.  Personally, I think most of us consume red wines too warm and white wines too cold.  However, no one else can determine your pleasure quotient.  So, why not experiment a bit, and see what suits you?