How to Serve White Wine: An Overview for the Beginner

Most wine newcomers, when wondering about how to serve white wine, will simply put it in their fridge thinking that this will keep it at the proper temperature for serving. After all, like most beverages it needs to be cold, right? While it is true that white wine should be stored in cooler temperatures than red wine, your fridge is not the best place to keep your white wine. Here’s what you need to do.

The very best, easiest way to ensure that your white wine is stored properly is with a wine cooler or cellar. A wine cooler will ensure that your white wine is kept at a steady 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit. There are even more temperature variation within the various types of white wine, and most wine coolers will be able to accommodate this, with multiple zones that can be set at different temperatures. Overall, a wine cooler makes storing white wine so easy you won’t know how you ever lived without one.

But what if you can’t afford a wine cooler or it’s otherwise just not in the cards at the moment? If you need to store your white without a cooler, when you get it, put it somewhere cool (as cool as you can get without putting it in the fridge) away from direct sunlight and vibrations, such as those caused by a countertop blender, dishwasher, or other appliance. Make sure that you set it on its side to keep the cork moist and therefore the bottle sealed.

When you are ready to drink the wine, you can chill it in the fridge for two hours. If you have some left over, re-cork the bottle, make sure that it is tightly sealed and put back into the fridge. If the cork is broken or accidentally thrown away, you can tightly seal the bottle with a rubber band wrapped around some plastic wrap at the top of the bottle.

Wine stored in this manner should be ideally kept at a temperature of about 40-65 degrees Fahrenheit, with humidity between 70 and 80 percent. This is hard to do with a refrigerator, but you can take it out shortly before drinking it and let it sit for 10-15 to warm up a bit before enjoying it. You only want to keep a bottle of opened wine for about 3-5 days; if it’s kept any longer the taste will be compromised.

Overall, figuring out how to serve white wine is a lot more complex than it first appears. While most peoples’ first instinct is to put white wine in the fridge, this is not really the most optimal way of storing it. White wine should really be stored at 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is much warmer than most refrigerators. Your options therefore are to buy a wine cooler (the best option) or to follow the above steps, keeping in mind that the situation is not optimal. By toying around a bit with the method, you’ll be able to get your white wine close to the optimal storing and drinking temperature that you may not even be able to tell the difference!

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