Enjoying Chardonnay chilled to the ideal temperature is one of the best ways to enjoy the wine.
The optimal temperature to serve Chardonnay is 48-60 F (8-15 C). At this temperature, your glass of wine will be at its best. If the wine is too cold, you might develop a dislike for chardonnays.
1) Ideal Temperature For Chardonnay
There are a few factors to keep in mind to keep your Chardonnay at the ideal temperature. Take a look at the weather first, especially if you are in a warm climate. For example, you might want to drink a Chardonnay in the middle of a hot summer. We need to get more specific, so let’s take a look at an example.
As I write this post, Atlanta’s temperature is 79 F (or 26 C). That is significantly above the ideal temperature to serve Chardonnay. To enjoy the flavor profile of the wine, you might want to chill the wine slightly below the ideal temperature and then keep the wine in an ice bucket. Serving the wine in this way means that each glass will help you
2) How To Use A Wine Fridge Properly With Chilled Chardonnay
A wine fridge (or wine refrigerator if you want to be proper) is a helpful way to preserve wine for the long term. However, the ideal temperature for wine storage is different from the serving temperature. When you serve Chardonnay, you want to enjoy the complexity of flavors in your glass. To clarify the situation, let’s take a closer look at the details.
A wine refrigerator should keep your wine cooled at 55 F (12 C). Even your favorite wine is designed to be served cold, too cold for many wines, even full-bodied Chardonnay. If you drink excessively chilled Chardonnay, you are only going to taste the alcohol in your glass. All the delicate flavors that make a bottle of wine enjoyable and memorable will be suppressed.
The solution to using a wine fridge effectively is simple. Use the following three steps to get your wine bottle ready to drink.
Step 1: Select A Bottle of Wine From Your Wine Refrigerator
Select a wine that you want to enjoy and when you want to enjoy the bottle. For instance, I am writing this post on a Friday morning. If I wanted to have a specific wine on Friday evening, I would decide when (e.g., 6 pm).
Step 2: Take The Bottle Of Wine From The Wine Fridge One Hour Before Serving
To reach the proper temperature, it is wise to put the wine out an hour before serving. For people living in warmer climates, you might want to use an ice bucket (filled with ice water, not just ice) to keep the wine from heating up too quickly.
Using ice water means the cooler temperatures of the ice can make complete contact with the wine bottle. That means your wine bottle stays at the proper temperature (i.e., 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit) for a more extended period of time.
Step 3: Serve A Glass Of Wine
Pour yourself a glass of wine and see how you like it. To develop your wine appreciation skills, sip the wine when it is cold and take another sip after five to ten minutes. By taking sips of wine over time, you can discover your personal preference for enjoying a glass of wine. You may see some color variation as the wine warms up. Further, you will probably also experience more of the wine’s delicate flavors (if flavor matters, avoid questions like does wine freeze?) when the wine reaches the ideal wine temperature.
3) Choosing A Wine Glass For Your Chardonnay
No discussion of serving Chardonnay chilled is complete without looking considering your wine glass. For now, let’s keep life simple and consider two kinds of wine glass: stemmed and stemless. When you are serving Chardonnay chilled, you want to use a wine glass with a stem. That keeps the warmer temperatures of your hands from immediately warming up the wine.
When you serve chilled wine in a stemless glass, you will warm up cold wine much faster. That only makes sense if you have an ice-cold chardonnay. That’s why most wine experts warn you against choosing a stemless wine glass.
In my post about the best wine glasses, I recommend a few wine glasses. The best all-purpose wine glasses are Riedel Ouverture White Wine Glasses (Set of 2) which sell for $32.97 on Wine.com as of July 2021.
4) Should Your Chardonnay Be Chilled In A Wine Cellar?
If you spend less than $1,000 per year on wine, skip to the next section.
Beginner wine collectors who have less than 50 bottles of wine should buy a wine fridge. If you have a larger wine collection and additional money to spend on your wine hobby, building a wine cellar might make sense.
Aside from budget and wine collection size, building a wine cellar only makes sense if you plan to collect and age wines. Suppose you buy affordable wines and drink each bottle within a few weeks (like me most of the time!), a wine cellar does not make sense for your situation.
There are two ways to approach a wine cellar: rent space in a commercial wine cellar or build one in your home. Before even considering a wine cellar in your home, you need to know about the costs.
- Minimum Cost: Expect to spend at least $15,000 on a wine cellar (i.e., minimum $300 per square foot).
- Maximum Cost: Unlimited! In “The Billionaire’s Vinegar” (read my full review here), there is a wine collector who buys an entire house to house his wine collection. A billionaire profiled in the book spends even more on his wine cellar, including custom computer technology.
- Advantages To Building A Wine Cellar In Your Home. Convenience and customization are the key benefits to creating a wine cellar in your home. You can access the wine whenever you want to see it. For wine collectors who want to maximize control and security, building a wine cellar in your
- Disadvantages To Building A Wine Cellar In Your Home. Aside from the initial cost, building a wine cellar in your home may impact your home’s resale prospects. Not many home buyers want a wine cellar.
Renting space in a commercial wine cellar or storage company is a far better option. According to wine expert Jancis Robinson, the cost of wine storage varies depending on the volume of wine you store. Abbey Winery Services, based in Oregon, charges a minimum monthly fee of $20 per month, while Chelsea Wine Storage, located in Manhattan, costs much more (i.e., $1500 per year for up to 8 cases of wine). Still, they offer more to customers, such as a tasting room and easy access for New Yorkers. Note that some commercial wine storage services include insurance and delivery. Commercial wine storage makes sense if you plan to collect wine as a potential investment.
Discover France’s Most Famous Chardonnay
Now that you know how to serve and enjoy a chilled Chardonnay, you’re probably wondering: what Chardonnay should you serve? Since Travel By Glass has a focus on French wines, I have to recommend French wines. Specifically, take a closer look at Chablis. Find out more in my post about Petit Chablis, one of the best-known Chardonnay wines from Burgundy.