Quickie Wine Question: Should Chardonnay be served chilled or room temp?

I don’t drink myself but I bought a bottle to take to the hostess at a party tonight and wanted to know whether to refrigerate it.

Thanks for any info.


Unless you’re dealing with super duper winos… er, wine experts, whites are served chilled, reds are served at room temperature (or very slightly below).

I think it tastes much better chilled, but not refrigerator temp. Maybe about 55 degrees or so. Put it in the fridge, and when you take it out to go, by the time you get to your party it will likely be in that range.

Is it a dinner party? I always thought wine was a fine hostess gift, but not to expect it to be drunk that night, because the meal and drinks are already planned.

I believe you should determine for yourself if you have a preference. If you do, then serve it that way. “Should” is a dangerous concept when dealing with something that relates essentially to personal taste.

But… but… but… How then will experts pontificate? People thinking for themselves could throw the entire expert industry into a shambles. How thoughtless.

This is all well and good–but it’s not just for himself; he’s bringing it to a party. And standard practice (which has become standard practice for a good reason) is to serve it chilled. If people want it warmer, they can just let it sit in their glasses till it reaches the temperature they prefer.

Of course, I knew SOMEone would come along and burst my bubble, and suggest consideration of others. Such a difficult attitude to deal with. On the other hand, (hijack) I wonder how these standards developed. Is it, in fact, the evolved preference of the majority, or is it a tradition that has grown, perhaps, from times when wines were kept in cool places? Clearly, there are lots of folks out there who have never experiemented to see how temperature affects their preferences. They just go with what everyone says “should” be done. Any thoughts, or sources of same?

Yep on both cases - but it will not hurt to show up with it chilled

At the risk of being pedantic, that’s at room temperature in France, or about 65 degrees, rather than the 72 degrees common in the states. This site gives a run down of temperatures that match my experience:


Don’t forget that when you drink your Chardonnay you hold the glass by the stem so as to not impart any warmth from your hand.

pinky ague?

I prefer it chilled. Wine expert types agree with me.

But I also like my red wines chilled, and the wine types don’t agree there.

But since it’s my wine, and I paid for it, I can chill it if I want to. Nyah nyah.

I can’t do more than speculate how the standards developed (so I won’t), but I do have a pretty good handle on why things are the way they are today. Wine is all about balance. Acidity, sweetness, tannins and alcohol are the main things that affect the body or mouthfeel of a wine, and most people find wines to be most enjoyable when these four components are in balance with one another. Serving temperature can have a big impact on the way these elements are perceived.

In cold white wines aromas and flavors are depressed and acidity is accentuated.
In cold red wines aromas and flavors are depressed and astringency (from tannins) is accentuated.
In warm wines (red or white) acidity is depressed and alcohol and sweetness are accentuated.

So the recommended serving temperature for a wine would be the temperature at which the flavors and aromas are most intense, and all the other elements well-balanced. This is the basis on which I advise my customers (must now cop to being a professional winemaker), but my ultimate advice is always to drink wines however you like them!

For the OP: I know it’s too late for last night, but you can just bring gift bottles at shelf temperature and let the hostess decide whether to chill to or not.