White wines are best served cool. However, if the wine is too cold you will find that aromas and flavours are suppressed. Aromatic white wines such as Riesling or Pinot Gris can be served chilled from the refrigerator, however fuller bodied whites such as Chardonnay may be more enjoyable a few degrees warmer. Red wine is best served at around 18 to 20 degrees Celsius or 64-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
In summer, it is sometimes necessary to cool the wine down a touch if the ambient temperature is quite warm. Red wines served too warm may seem volatile and alcoholic and will not show at their best.
Wine enthusiasts have many different types of quality wine glassware to choose from. Which brand, style and shape to purchase is a personal decision that will depend upon your wine preference, taste and budget. Most respected glass producers advocate that the shape and size of the wine glass has a direct impact on the perception of the aroma and flavour of a wine.
Many of these producers have created wine glasses to suit different grape varietals and wine styles. For general purpose, Penfolds recommends using a fine, large stemmed glass that allows you to swirl the wine without spillage. A good quality glass can be an object of beauty in itself, allowing you to admire the colour of the wine while encouraging the bouquet to emerge.
The poor storage of glasses is a problem that is rarely written about. If wine glasses are not regularly used, or are stored in cardboard boxes, they can collect fine dust or attract ambient odours. Glasses stored in wooden or antique cabinets are particularly prone to this problem.
If the glass is not washed before being used it may taint the wine. Dishwashers can also leave a film of detergent. If glasses are not thoroughly rinsed they can pick up odours very quickly. Always remove lipstick stains from glasses before washing them, as the wax can dissolve and coat the inside bowl of the glass. Penfolds recommends that you wash and polish glasses prior to use unless you are sure of how the glasses are stored.