In the case of wine, temperature is key. Red wines should be ideally served at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, white wine at 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chilling time for white wine depends on the type of wine. A fresh, crisp wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, should chill for about three hours in the fridge, or 30 minutes in the freezer. A richer, more buttery wine, such as Chardonnay, doesn't need to be quite as cold-- it can chill for around 2 hours in the fridge or 20 minutes in the freezer. Feel free to ask when purchasing what amount of time they recommend for your specific wine.
The most common mistake in serving wine is serving red wines too warm and white wines too cold. To prevent this, follow the 15 minute rule:
Place red wine in the fridge for 15 minutes before you serve it. Pull white wine out of the fridge 15 minutes before you’re ready to drink it.
To chill white wine quickly, immerse the bottle in a bucket filled with ice water and a few tablespoons salt. The salt keeps the ice colder. Whatever you do, do not place ice cubes in white wine. It dilutes the wine and chills it to the point where certain flavors are masked.
Nestpert: Divya Gugnani is the founder and CEO of BehindtheBurner.com, a site specializing in the tips, tricks and techniques of the culinary world, and author of the upcoming Sexy Women Eat (HarperCollins, January 2011). Her latest endeavor is the launch of WhatNotToDo101.com, where she dives into the rest of life’s challenges.
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