Every week, Mark Oldman — wine expert, acclaimed author and lead judge of the hit series The Winemakers — shares with readers the basics of wine, while making it fun and practical. In the coming weeks, he’ll tell you what to ask at a wine store, at what temperature to serve it and share his must-have wine tools.
The serving temperature of wine is like weather conditions in a city: Small differences can vastly change your attitude about what’s in front of you. The following guidelines will cast your wine in the most flattering light:
White wine: It’s no surprise that most of us like our whites — along with our rosés and sparklers — fully chilled. It’s just more refreshing that way. At the same time, if you are drinking a special white — say, an expensive California Chardonnay or French Pinot Gris — in a setting where you really want to appreciate its subtleties, you might allow a cold white to warm up 15 minutes or so before serving. As eating a frozen Snickers bar demonstrates, coldness numbs our perception of flavor. A slightly warmer temperature, therefore, unleashes a fine white wine’s aromas and flavors.