Log In / Join Now

Ask Dr. Vinny



Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...

Dear Dr. Vinny,

Why are white wines served chilled?

—Manoj, Oman

Dear Manoj,

Everyone’s personal preference should be their primary guide, but different styles of beverages will taste better to people at different temperatures. Serving wine on the warmer side, closer to room temperature, amplifies our perception of acidity and alcohol. Of course, cold temperatures can also suppress and mute flavors and aromatics too.

For a full guide to wine-serving temperatures, I suggest checking out Wine Spectator's "Tips on the Perfect Serving Temperature." In short, light, crisp whites and sparkling wines are best served at 40° to 50° F, full-bodied whites and lighter reds at 50° to 60° F, and full-bodied reds at 60° to 65° F. Keep in mind that most refrigerators are around 35° F, which means that if you’re storing your white wines in there, you might want to give them a few minutes to warm up and become a bit more expressive.

—Dr. Vinny

Wine Basics

We break down the basics—how to taste, serve, store and more. Plus:
» Maps of major wine regions
» Grape variety characteristics

How-to Videos

Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more

Wine Spectator School: All courses are FREE for WineSpectator.com Members

Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.

Browse our course catalog
Check out the professional wine sales and service courses
Learn Wine Forum: Got questions? Get answers


WineRatings+ app: Download now for 365,000+ ratings.