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How Cold Should Your Wine Be?

How Cold Should Your Wine Be?

2012 J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay Photo © Paul Kirchner

The lighter the wine, the cooler it should be served.

Sparkling Wine: Below 40
Keep sparkling wine very cold. It tastes better, and won't spray all over the place when you open it.

  • NV Parigot & Richard Crémant de Bourgogne Blanc Brut ($27) For five generations, Burgundy's Parigot family has been bottling this lovely, crisp brut.
  • NV Avinyó Cava Brut Reserva ($17) This lively, creamy cava is made with grapes from Joan Esteve Nadal's 50-year-old vineyards in Spain's Penedès region.

White Wine: 45°-50°
White wines are more aromatic when served a few degrees above refrigerator temperature.

  • 2012 Colosi Sicilia Bianco ($14) Sicily's red wines get more attention, but this floral white—a blend of three native varieties—is well worth seeking out.
  • 2012 J. Lohr Riverstone Chardonnay ($14) The antithesis of the buttery California Chardonnay cliché, this wine shows the effects of a cool, rocky region.

Red Wine: 60°-65°
Warm red wines can seem too alcoholic. Pour them slightly cooler than room temperature.

  • 2011 Sottimano Pairolero Barbera d'Alba ($25) A nicely tart, organically farmed red from a father-son team in Piedmont.
  • 2011 Montes Twins ($15) Chile tries its hand at Argentina's go-to grape, Malbec.

Related: Wine-Chilling Cheat Sheet
Best Online Wine Shops
Wine Pairing Tips

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