Thanks to Alma de Cattleya for sending me free bottles of wine in exchange for a fair and honest review.

There are many factors to consider when enjoying a glass or bottle of wine. One of the most important this time of year is temperature. Chilling wine is essential. It might sound simple, however, there are a few guidelines or standards to help give you the best tasting experience.

If you want to chill with wine and friends this summer, chilling wine is essential. Here are some tips for Wine Wednesday.

Chilling Wine If It’s Red

Don’t be afraid to chill your reds. In fact, most of the time they are served too warm both at home and in most restaurants. You may’ve heard serve red wine at room temperature. However, that was by European standards, often cellar temperatures, not summer (or anytime) in Florida standards.

The ideal temperature for red wine is about 65 degrees. It only needs about ten minutes in ice or the refrigerator to bring it down a few degrees depending on how warm it was to start. If a red wine is too hot, you will only taste the alcohol.

If it is too cold you’ll also miss out on the fruit and other sublties. I look at it like this. You can always warm it up in the gass if you get it too cold. If you start too warm, you don’t have anywhere to go.

When confirming alot of the basic information I write about, I often double check my memory and notes. The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil is one of the sources I use. If you are wanting to learn more about wine, this is a good resource that covers alot of topics.

A book titled Wine Bible on a table has info on all aspects of wine including Chilling Wine
Photo: Gina Birch
This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn about wine regions and grapes around the world. It also covers basic info such as chilling wine.

Chilling Wine That’s White

Almost everyone knows white wine should be chilled. But like the reds, there is a sweet spot to get the most out of that bottle. If it’s too cold, it stunts almost all of the flavors. White wines should be served between 45 and 50 degrees.

I have a wine sleeve in the freezer. If I’m serving white wine, especially outside, I typically put the bottle in the sleeve to keep it cold. If it’s too cold, simply cup the wine glass in your hands to warm it up a few degrees.

Chilling Wine When It Sparkles

There is some debate in wine circles as to the proper temperature to serve Champagne and sparkling wine. Some experts recommend the same temperature as still white wines. Others suggest a little colder, as low as 43 degrees.

If you let sparkling wine get as warm as 54 degrees, which some are fans of, the wine can often taste richer. So if you want to get really technical, consider the food you are serving Champagne and other bubbles with. Will fruit, acid or richness compliment that food better?

If you just want to enjoy the wine, I say start at the coldest. Then observe how the flavors evolve in the glass as it warms up. To me, that is part of the fun of discovery when enjoying wine with friends and food.

Finally, here are some examples. Three refreshing ways to chill with wine this summer.

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