How often have you sampled a great wine somewhere, only to find that it tasted different at home? What changed? Most likely the difference was the temperature at which it was served!
People often serve white wines too cold (making the flavors hard to taste) and red wines too warm (making the alcohol too prominent). Red wine should be served at room temperature, while white wine should be served chilled. But this is pretty vague advice considering room temperature can vary based on the season and the location.
In summer, it is best to serve wine 3 or 4 degrees under the recommended temperature, because it will reach its ideal temperature in just a few seconds. The hand transmits the temperature of the body to the glass and quickly heats the wine. (For this reason, it is best to hold a wine glass by the stem.)
The chart below highlights the major wines’ optimum serving temperatures.