Serving a wine at the ideal temperature will ensure that its full character and flavor are revealed. If the wine is too warm then the taste of alcohol will overwhelm the natural aromas and flavors of the wine. If the wine is served too cold then these aromas and flavors will be too muted to fully appreciate. The ideal serving temperature for most full-bodied red wines is between 60-65 degrees F, and the ideal temperature for lighter and more fruity red wines is between 50 and 60 degrees F. This is also a perfect temperature to serve full-bodied white wines. Sparkling wines and light, dry white wines should be served at a temperature of between 40 and 50 degrees F. Here are some recommended ways to heat or chill wines to achieve the perfect serving temperatures.
To alter a wine’s temperature slightly, you can always allow them to sit in room temperature for a while or you can stick them in a fridge for a bit. A half an hour at room temperature could help warm up a wine that came from a cold cellar. If the wine is too warm you could always stick it in the fridge for an hour or two. The problem with this approach is that the wine will not be ready to serve for quite a while. If you are looking for a way to have your wines ready for serving you can always use a small wine cooler. The ideal small wine cooler will be able to reach a temperature of 65 degrees F.
There are other ‘quick fix’ methods if you need to alter the wine’s temperature but you don’t have a lot of time to do so. You can quickly cool a bottle of wine down by immersing it in a mixture of ice and water. In some cases you may want to stick the bottle in the freezer, but just make sure you keep a close eye on it to prevent freezing or explosions if you do. To warm up a bottle of wine you can always pour it through a decanter that has been rinsed in warm water, or immerse the bottle in warm water. Never use hot water to try to warm up a bottle of wine.