You can enjoy red wine at room temperature, but you will get more out of your experience if you sip it five-to-ten degrees cooler.
Textbook range is 60 to 68 degrees for reds. Warmer red wine over-emphasizes alcohol and aromas. Red wine in the 60s gives you the best version of fruits and aromas and reduces the alcohol burn. Generally speaking, the lighter the red, the cooler it should be. Red wine is more refreshing at the right temperature.
Don’t go overboard on the red chilling, however. Most red wine under 60 degrees will taste more acidic and tannic. Pinot noir is the low end of cool—serve it 55-60 degrees—because tannin and alcohol are not pinot features.
Getting the right temperature is not hard. Put the bottle in the refrigerator about a half hour before you dink and you are there. If you store your bottle of red in the refrigerator, take it out 30 to 40 minutes before use.
If you have a dedicated wine refrigerator, you likely are golden when you grab the bottle. Best storage temperature for wine is in the mid 50s, so take out 10 minutes or so before pouring. If you decant, a best practice for most red wine, decanting will take care of things.
White wine is best served 45-55 degrees. White wine served too cold will have muted flavors and aromas. Served too warm, whites will be flat and flabby.
Your refrigerator likely chills things down to 35 degrees. A half hour in the refrigerator will get your white right. If your white is stored in the refrigerator, take it out 30 minutes before serving to bring out its best.
Sparkling wine is best around 45 degrees, so store away in the refrigerator until it is almost time to pour.
• Alois Lageder Riff Pinot Grigio DOC delle Venezie 2018: Superbly fresh, crisp, refreshing. Hard to beat chilled on a hot day. $10-12 Link to my review
• Zenato Rosso Veronese Alanera 2016: Delicious spectrum of red Valpolicella fruits. $16-20 Link to my review
• Long Meadow Ranch Merlot, Napa Valley 2015: Merlot with more than a dollop of attitude. $35-38 Link to my review
• Jean-Luc Baldès Clos Triguedina “Les Galets” Malbec, Cahors 2013: Powerful, assertive; compare malbec from it native land to pours from Argentina. $38-48 Link to my review
Last round: I was at a wine bar last night, so I took a bus home. That may not be a big deal to you, but I had never driven a bus before.