|Well, this might be refreshing,|
but it's too cold to taste anything
Most white are best at cellar temp -- about 55 degrees. A few whites, sparkling wine and Sauvignon Blanc, for instance, can be colder.
Reds are usually best in the low 60s so somewhere between a traditional cellar temp and room temp. Reds served too cold have the same issues as whites with the flavors being masked. Reds served too warm also mask flavors plus you may taste the heat of the alcohol or get a nasty, astringent flavor (the drying tannins really come out).
So what's the solution? Leave that Chardonnay outside of the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes before serving. Put reds in the door of the refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving if they're at room temp. These aren't hard-and-fast rules for all wines because as with most things there are exceptions. For instance, on a warm day it might be nice to have a light red like a Beaujolais or Grenache with a bit of a chill.
Serving beer at the wrong temp is also a common problem. Many premium beers should be warmer than refrigerator temperature. Crap like Coors and Miller Lite should be as cold as possible so you don't taste them.
Holding the glass
|Dumb idea for controlling serving temp.|
But good if you're clumsy like me
as it's not as likely to get knocked over
Those fancy Riedel stemless glasses? Well, don't hold the wine too long -- set the glass down.
Letting the wine breathe
All wines will benefit from this, but especially those big, young red wines. Let your glass set for a couple minutes after pouring. This is aeration of the wine (adding oxygen) to soften its youthfulness and letting it integrate a bit.
Swirling the wine in the glass
|What the hell?|
You can also over-swirl and get too much oxygen into the wine.
And don't swirl your sparkling wine as you are just breaking down the bubbles.
You paid good money for that bottle of wine. You might as well get full enjoyment from it!