The answer to the question is an unequivocal yes, and no. The traditional adage says to serve white wines cold and red wines at room temperature, but traditional wisdom appears out of synch with recent studies that indicate the temperature range most of us prefer to drink red wines is much cooler than room temperature in most contemporary American homes and restaurants. But 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 55°- 62° F most of the year, 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. If one wants to enjoy a good bottle of red wine in July in Arizona or Southern California, room temperature will hardly make the grade, so why not put the bottle of red wine in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to bring it down below 65° F. And there’s no law that says you can’t chill red wine further, if you prefer it that way. One wine drinker’s loss of flavor is another’s perfect potion, so as you like it.
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