THE TRUTH: You’ve probably heard the idea that red wine should be served room temperature while white wine should be served ice cold. In reality, though, if the wines are good, you’ll achieve the best results if both red and white wines are served in between ice cold and room temperature, says Rosengren. If white wine is served too cold, you won’t be able to taste the nuances in its flavor, and if red wine is served too close to room temperature, it could taste flat. “When it doubt, chill your wine,” says Rosengren, but be careful not to make it too ice cold.
THE TRUTH: While this is a safe rule of thumb, there are plenty of exceptions. When it comes to fish, you can “go with lighter reds with low tannins like Beaujolais, Trousseau or Poulsard from the Jura, or Schiava from northern Italy,” advises Wilson. The same mentality goes for meat. While a fatty, juicy steak would overpowered by a zesty, light-bodied wine like Sancerre, there are certain whites that can stand up to meat. “You need something that is bold enough to stand up to the flavor of whatever meat your eating,” says Wilson. “Like a big Chardonnay or maybe a Rhone valley white to do the trick.”
THE TRUTH: In the past, screw top wines were considered cheap or inferior to wines sealed with a cork. But today, the distinction between cork and screw-top bottles has become much hazier. Thanks to new technology, screw tops can actually be much more more dependable than corks, which vary in their ability to prevent oxidation within the bottle. “Sure, most of the world’s fancy wine is bottled with cork, but that has more to do with perception,” says Rosengren. “For just about anything intended to be drunk within a year or two after bottling, screw cap is great,” he assures.
THE TRUTH: Chardonnay has an unfortunate reputation because people assume this varietal is always big, rich, and buttery. But the truth, says Salcito, is that “Chardonnay is actually an incredibly neutral grape that gets its taste from the soil in which it’s grown and the style used by the winemaker.” For Chardonnays that aren’t rich and buttery in the slightest, look for bottles from a cool climate region in California like Santa Barbara or the region of Chablis in Burgundy. “Wines from the entire region of Chablis are bright, citrusy, and taste of fresh lemon and crushed sea shells,” says Salcito.
THE TRUTH: Sure, people enjoy drinking Champagne in flutes for that fancy feeling, but if you pop a bottle of bubbly for your guests and don’t have flutes on hand, you’re not doing the wine a disservice. It takes a long time to make Champagne, and throughout the process the sparkling wine develops complex flavors and aromas like butter, toast, white cherry, and even a certain nuttiness. According to Rosengren, you could serve Champagne in a flute, but “if the wine is decent enough, a wider wine glass will express those aromas better.”