What’s the best way to keep an open bottle of wine at the ideal serving temp?

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Dear Dr. Vinny,

Some wines take a while to “open up,” and by then they’re room temperature. What’s the best way to keep an open bottle of wine at the ideal serving temp?

—Erik, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dear Erik,

Keeping an open bottle of wine at the ideal serving temperature can be tricky. If the wine needs to be cooled down, an ice bucket partially filled with water and ice is most effective. There are also marble wine coolers or ice packs that you can pre-chill and wrap around a bottle.

If the wine is already in a decanter, an ice bath is going to be the quickest method if possible. You can also place the decanter in the refrigerator for a little while.

Regardless of the method you use to cool down your wine, be mindful that if it’s too cold, the wine’s personality can be suppressed.

The next time you’re planning to enjoy a red wine that needs to breathe for a while, consider adjusting your thermostat—we keep the tasting rooms at Wine Spectator at a brisk temperature so that the wines don’t get too warm while we’re reviewing them.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Decanting Serving Wine

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