By Julia Rutland
May 30, 2007
France Ruffenach

The best-tasting glass of wine is always served at the proper temperature. The room-temperature rule of thumb for red wine applies if your room happens to be in a castle in the Loire Valley, not West Palm Beach in the summer. So unless you're storing reds in a cellar, go ahead and give them a few minutes in the refrigerator before serving. Likewise, a too-cold spot in your fridge will blunt the flavor and aroma of a good white. Flaws are accentuated when the wine is too warm, which means if you have a so-so bottle, serve it well chilled. Below are guidelines for ideal wine temperatures:

• Full-bodied reds such as Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Shiraz: 60° to 65°

• Light, fruity reds such as Rioja and Chianti: 55° to 60°

• Full-bodied whites such as Chardonnay and white Burgundy: 50° to 55°

• Light, fruity whites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc: 45° to 50°

• Champagne and sparkling wines: 40° to 45°