Should White Wine Be Chilled?

There’s nothing like a glass of white wine to pair with your favorite dishes. However, if you’re new to the world of white wine you might be curious to know: Should white wine be chilled?

In this article, I cover some key information about the temperatures white wine should be chilled at. So, next time you have guests over on the weekend you can enjoy a glass of wine at the optimal temperature.

Keep reading to find out more.

Should white wine be chilled?

Yes, different types of white wines should be chilled, but they should be chilled at slightly different temperatures. 

Not all wines should be chilled to the same temperature because of their chemical composition. Many factors determine the specific type of wine’s ideal temperature.

The acidity, body and weight can all make a difference and be affected by a serving temperature that is too warm or too cold.

While a white wine might compliment a dish, the wrong temperature could therefore diminish the acidity and affect the overall taste of the wine.

The backbone of a white wine is acidity. As a general rule, while it is generally safe to say that all white wines should be chilled, the perfect temperature serves to better accentuate the acidity and the fruit flavors of the specific wine.

Lighter, fruitier wines taste best at a colder temperature, between 45°F and 50°F, or after being chilled for two hours in the refrigerator. This temperature serves to ensure the wine remains refreshing and sharp.

Additionally, white wines such as Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc also fall in this temperature range. 

High acid white wines, on the other hand, are best served at 45°F. These include Chablis and Muscadet wines. If they are served at a warmer temperature, the acidity is diminished, which could be especially noticeable when paired with certain dishes.

Bearing this in mind, you will need to take note of the type of wine and chill it in accordance with that.

How do you chill white wine? 

Planning is key when it comes to chilling a bottle of wine. The best and easiest option is to place your bottle of white wine in the fridge 2-2.5 hours before you’re ready to serve, depending on the type of wine.

This is a much easier method to get your wine to the perfect temperature than to keep it in the fridge and then letting it warm up to the ideal temperature.

However, if you’re short on chilling time before your guests arrive, you can place the wine bottle in the freezer for about 20-25 minutes. Just be sure to remove the wine bottle from the freezer within the time limit.

Failure to do so could cause the bottle to explode! When the water in wine freezes, it expands and can push the cork out partially, or even crack the bottle. 

Additionally, you can chill a bottle of wine quickly by submerging the bottle in an ice salt bucket. Grab a bucket or container, and add salt, water, and ice.

Ice absorbs heat from the water, which brings the temperature down. The salt brings the freezing point of water below 32˚F. Just be sure to submerge the bottle fully in the ice, or it won’t chill evenly. 

While it is often frowned upon, you can always add an ice cube or two to the glass if the wine isn’t chilled enough. That being said, while ice cubes will chill your wine, they also dilute the taste.

While this is fine if you’re looking for a spritzer-like experience, it can ruin your wine, so you won’t want to add too much ice.

To prevent this from happening altogether, you can purchase metal wine stones, which you keep in your freezer, and add to a glass of wine to chill it without diluting it.

However, as an alternative to ice, if you have some frozen grapes in your freezer, add a few of those to the wine glass instead as needed.

Frozen grapes work to keep your wine chilled without it becoming diluted with water as the ice melts, and they are fun and refreshing to eat as well!

How to store white wine

If your wine bottle goes bad before you crack open the bottle, it makes no difference what temperature you serve it at or which dish you pair it with.

Bearing this in mind, how you store wine is fundamental for maintaining its quality and overall taste. 

To help preserve the shelf life of your wines, you will need to keep your wine bottles in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.

To keep your wines in the best condition, you should consider putting a wine rack in a space that’s removed from heat and light and cooler than room temperature. 

Additionally, you could use a wine cooler to store your white wine. A wine cooler helps keep the wine temperature stable throughout the year.

As the temperature rises in summer or falls outside in winter as the seasons begin to change, the temperature changes within your home. This is especially true when you have the central heating or air conditioning on.

However, while some people like to keep their wines in a wine cellar or a wine cooler, they’re not a necessity to store wine. I appreciate that not everyone has the wine collection, space, or budget for a cooler or a cellar.

Instead, you can use your standard refrigerator, freezer, or ice bucket as I discussed above.

In summary

Yes, white wine should be chilled. However, the temperature will depend on the type of white wine that you are chilling. 

Additionally, how long you chill your white wine will depend on the method that you are using to chill the wine.

It’s best to keep your wine on a wine rack in a cool place and chill it a few hours before you are ready to serve it depending on the type of wine.

Christina Day
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