Did you know that red wine is quite versatile? Sure, it is a nice match with red meat, but depending on the drinker, it can go well with just about anything. Personal preference is key, in wine selection and wine temperature.

When you need to chill and serve wine, think beyond white. Be ready for a guest to request chilled Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. It’s true. The New York Times even touts the need to chill and serve wine.

How to chill and serve wine

1. Short on time?

If you only have 10–20 minutes to chill a bottle of wine, grab an ice bucket and a salt shaker. Stick the bottle in the bucket and layer ice and salt until you reach the neck of the bottle. Fill the bucket with cold water. The salt lowers the temperature of the water and helps the ice melt slower.

2. Room temperature is relative

So the notion of serving red wine at room temperature is pretty subjective. Most rooms are kept between 75 and 78 degrees, but most red wines are best enjoyed between 68 and 72 degrees. Skip the fridge. It’s usually about 45 degrees in there.

3. Keep a decanter handy

Decanters are good to have for a couple of reasons. Pour an older red wine into a decanter to allow the sediment to settle to the bottom, or pour a younger red into a decanter to give it a chance to “breathe.” When serving, remember to fill the glass about a third of the way. Give your guests rooms to swirl the wine and enjoy the fragrance it emits.

4. Remember your measurements

Generally speaking, one bottle of wine provides about four to five glasses. So, you’ll need to be ready with about six bottles for a party of eight. It’s always better to have extra.

5. Keep it in the glass

A tea towel pulls double duty when you chill and serve wine. It helps catch any drips when pouring, and it helps with insulation. When pouring, aim for the center of the glass, filling only about a third of the way to allow guests to swirl if they so choose. Then, twist the bottle slightly so that the last drip falls into the glass rather than down the side of the bottle (or your hands—classy!).

Cheryl Najafi | CEO & Creative Catalyst | Everyday Dishes & DIY “When it’s served properly, wine is simply enjoyed. It’s that one extra guest at the party.” – Cheryl