The 20 Minute Rule (10 Minutes if it’s in Snow)…

Wine temperature is one of the most overlooked things when it comes to serving wine.

It may not sound like a big deal to most, however if a red wine is served too warm (as it most often is) the alcohol will show through, and it will taste vinegary. Too cold, and the wine will be “muted” and won’t show its full potential.

A simple guideline for getting your wine close to its correct serving temperature is to use the 20 minute rule. Take your white wine out of the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to serve it, and put your red wine in the refrigerator 20 minutes before you are ready to serve it.
Both wines will be at a much better temperature than if you weren’t to apply this rule!

Bearing all of this in mind, I’m taking no chances on the bottle of Straight Line Mendocino County Pinot Noir that I’m about to open! The ideal serving temperature for Pinot Noir is around 61 F. I’m thinking 10 minutes in the snow should do it!

Straight Line Mendocino County Pinot Noir


Straight Line Mendocino County Pinot Noir - On Ice!

Photo taken on the balcony of my hotel room at the New Park Resort, Park City, Utah.


  • February 7, 2011


    I agree with you – chilling wine, especially red wine loses its flavor and too hot is gives the red wine a sour taste. However, I was curious as to what your opinion is in regards to people who own those big wine fridges? Do you think they spend way too much money on the fridge and are following what they are ‘told’ is best for the wine or do you think those wine fridges are just as essential?

  • February 12, 2011

    Kris Chislett

    Thanks for the question Annie and apologies for the delay in getting back to you I’ve been out of town.
    I think those under the counter kitchen wine refrigerators are cool, but not for long term storage. Whilst I haven’t exactly conducted any scientific experiments myself, everything I have read points to that bottles kept in those fridges can only be stored for a 18-24 months at most. This if the bottles are sealed with a cork closure. I haven’t come across many wine fridges that have a humidity control, an essential component if you are looking into long term storage. Of course screwcap sealed wines are fine without it.
    Long story short, wine fridges are great if you are going to consume the wine quickly (most people), otherwise you may need to upgrade to a more serious ( i.e. more $’s) unit.

  • May 20, 2022


    A hotel wine cooler is a good tool to store the wine. If you’re looking for a stylish cooler that has the ability to chill several bottles of wine at a time, take a look at WELLWAY. It’s a good choice for you.

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