What temperature should I serve wine at?
This is a question that I have answered before in some detail. The simple answer is cooler than you think, and warmer than you think!
Many resources recommend serving red wines at "room temperature." That ambiguity has led to many a poor showing. Room temperature is a vestige of another age when we were all a bit tougher, if decidedly less comfortable. Before central heating become the norm, room temperature might have been closer to about 60-65°F or 16-18°C. This is in fact an ideal rule-of-thumb temperature for the service of red wines.
For white wines, the range is large, primarily because the range of styles is broader as well. In general, the fridge is too cool for white wines to really express themselves.
The 20-minute rule will help you move your wines towards their correct service temperatures. For a red wine, put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before service. Conversely, for a white wine, take the bottle out of the fridge 20 minutes before service to take the icy edge off!
Read on for more answers to common wine questions like this one, from which wines are best served chilled to how to define "off-dry."
—Gregory Dal Piaz, Snooth