There are two age-old golden rules about the serving temperature of wine that should be tossed away.
- Serve white wine cold out of the fridge.
- Serve red wine at room temperature.
Have you ever tested the temperature of your fridge?
Most domestic fridges run at about 4°c. If you pull a wine out of the fridge at 4°c and taste it, it will look pretty dull and acidic. It certainly won't be favorable to getting the best qualities out of the wine. Have you ever heard yourself say, I didn't think much of it at first but now I'm warming to it? Well, you are probably warming to it because it is warming up. As the wine sits in the glass it rises in temperature and usually becomes far more interesting. Above 10°c the wine will start showing far more complexity and detail and its texture will become less acidic. All in all, far more enjoyable.
Quite the opposite though for red wine.
Room temperature, anywhere in the world, is often above 20°c. In summer it might get above 25°c even with the air-conditioning on. Not that many people have climate controlled cellars at home. Even if it is stored in a cupboard it is going to be 25°c. This is not the best temperature drinking for red wine. Warm red wine will appear a bit soupy, flat and dull. Don't be shy about putting a bottle of red wine into the fridge for an hour before serving if room temperature is a bit on the warm side. Be careful not to over-chill, as cold red wine will appear overly tannic and dry. But if the wine temperature is between 15-20°c out of the fridge, then great. It will warm up in the glass as well as in the bottle as it sits on the table. Again you will enjoy a wine of far greater complexity and detail with a true expression of its texture.