There are a few things in the world that will make wine experts flip out. I once saw a model at a party mix Diet Coke with Château Léoville Las Cases, a famed Bordeaux that runs $175 or so a bottle; I felt like hurling myself between her and the wine, the way you might throw yourself between a baby in a stroller and an oncoming truck. A more common occurrence that causes a lot of sommeliers I know to shudder: watching someone drop a few ice cubes into a glass of wine.
I get it. Warm wine is gross. And if you dump a handful of ice into your Chardonnay, yes, it will get cold, and fast. It will also get watery and weak, but plenty of people don’t mind that trade-off. Last year Diane Keaton released a red wine, The Keaton, specifically meant to be served over lots of ice. I tried it; the wine was big and ripe and perfectly tasty. Served over a fistful of ice, it was thinner and less flavorful, though not unrefreshing.
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So what’s the best solution for the warm-wine problem? Planning ahead is one answer, but that’s not always an option. A refrigerator takes about two hours to bring a white wine to an ideal temperature, about 45 degrees. And while people often serve reds at room temperature—around 72 degrees—the truth is that any red wine will taste better at five to 10 degrees below that. Some lighter reds are even good at a brisk 55 degrees.