Do you chill Merlot?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Do you chill Merlot?

—Sharron, Pettus, Texas

Dear Sharron,

I don’t, but you’re welcome to if that’s how you like to drink your Merlot!

Red wines like Merlot should be generally be served a little cooler than room temperature, at about 60° to 65° F.

If it’s a rosé made from Merlot grapes, it will probably be served chilled, like a white wine. Many people store their whites and rosés in their food refrigerator and serve them straight from there, which can be a teensy bit too cold and can results in the wine's a flavors and aromas being muted. I think those wines show best between 40° and 50° F.

On the one hand, I think serving temperature is a deeply personal thing, and we should chill or not chill our wines to our heart’s content, and if we want to drop an ice cube or two into a glass, everyone should stand up and cheer. But the reality is that if you ask for a Merlot chilled in a restaurant, you might be met with raised eyebrows. Check out Wine Spectator's handy guide to serving temperature for more info!

—Dr. Vinny

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