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Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
How does a restaurant serve a red wine at proper temperature if they’re taking it out of their cellar right when I order it? How do they warm it up so fast? Do they keep their cellars at serving temperature?
—Craig H., Lancaster, Pa.
Every restaurant manages wine storage a little differently, of course. I think your guess that many places store their wine at serving temperature (and not at proper storage temperature) makes sense. Time for a mini-rant—I sometimes find that reds are served too warm in restaurants, while whites are served too cold. I’ve also been to some restaurants where it’s clear that the wine is coming straight out of a 55-degree cellar.
There’s no magic “warm up your wine bottle” machine, and no, the microwave doesn’t count. If I’m served something cooler than I like, I can either warm up the glass in my hand, wait for the wine to warm up on its own, or ask that it be decanted. It’s much easier to chill a bottle down quickly—that’s why ice buckets are magical.
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