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Cooking Q&A: Chill Red Wine?

Q.

Is it okay to chill red wine?

A.

Yes, you should chill all red wines, particularly in the winter months when room temperature in the average heated household is around 70 degrees. Surprised? Unless you have a temperature-controlled wine cellar, most bottles of red are a few degrees too warm when pulled from a wine rack. Served at average room temperature, the wine loses some of its character. Ideally, full-bodied reds like cabernet sauvignon, Bordeaux, Barolo, and Shiraz, should be served in the 60 to 65 degree range. Lighter, fruity reds like Beaujolais, Italian Valpolicella, and Burgundy/pinot noir are best slightly cooler, from 50 to 60 degrees. No, you don’t have to bust out a wine thermometer. Just chill bottles in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour, or 15 to 20 minutes in an ice bucket.

-- Colleen Rush

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