QUESTION: I’ve heard that red wine should be served at room temperature. Is this true?
ANSWER: Yes, assuming you live in a cave.
For generations, we were taught that while white wine should be cooled down prior to serving, red wine was best enjoyed at room temperature.
Only one problem: When that advice initially was given, the man giving it probably lived in a drafty castle that was not equipped with a heating system — other than, perhaps, a fireplace.
In other words, “room temperature” back then was a good deal cooler than “room temperature” today.
Obviously, a more precise answer is needed, and we have one: Red wines should be served at between 58 and 69 degrees.
The recommended temp varies slightly from varietal to varietal, but not enough that it would make a big difference if you stick within that range.
Since “room temperature” at your home more likely falls within the 70- to 75-degree range, this means you should place a bottle of red wine in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes prior to opening and serving.
A bottle of white wine, on the other hand, should remain in the refrigerator for about 30 to 60 minutes.