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Correct Temperature

Different styles of wine need to be served at different temperatures

Correct temperature at which individual types of wine are served is also very important.  Insufficiently chilled white wines will taste bland, whilst older red vintages will have no bouquet if they are served too cold.

Champagne, sparkling wine and wines with high amounts of residual sugar, such as Beerenauslese, ice wine or straw wine, should be served chilled at a temperature of between 6-8°C.  Most white wines, rosé wines, Italian Lambrusco and Fino Sherry should be served cold but not too chilled, at 9-11°C.  Fruity reds such as Beaujolais or the lighter styles from the Loire Valley, as well as most of the lightly structured red wines of local origin, will be best appreciated at 12-13°C, with Port and Madeira one degree higher at 14°C.  Full-bodied red wines are best served at room temperature - chambré - by which I do not mean an unhealthily overheated living room in a panelák apartment block which can often be up to 27°C, but rather a temperature of around 17-18°C, which was once the room (or château) temperature in Europe!

When entertaining, it is essential to know what wines are to be served with what and in which order, as they should reach the required temperature slowly, without unnecessary shock.  White wine should never be put into a freezer, the desired temperature can be obtained in a bucket filled with cold water and ice cubes.  Red wine should never be placed on top of the central-heating radiator.  If we can achieve the correct temperature in a bucket of iced water, why not a kitchen sink with warm but not hot water?  Some authors are said to advise that a few seconds in a microwave oven should be sufficient, however, I must admit that I have yet to try this out.

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