white or pink wines should be served at 50 to 55 degrees. champagne and sparkling wines need to be colder, about 39 to 50 degrees. red wine should be at cellar temperature - not room temperature - which means 62 to 67 degrees. pop them in the fridge for a half-hour before serving.

cheaper wines or sweet wines should be served colder, to balance the sugar or mask any flaws. as a general rule, the better the wine, the warmer it can be served to show the depth of flavor - up to a point. red wines served too warm are harsh and tannic.

red wines benefit from decanting if they are very old or very young. an old wine will throw sediment as it ages. stand the wine upright for a couple of days and allow the sediment to settle. then carefully remove the cork and slowly pour the wine into a container. put a light, candle, or flashlight under the neck of the bottle. as soon as you see sediment, stop pouring. the remaining wine with sediment can be discarded, the bottle rinsed, and the wine replaced into the bottle for service. or serve from a decanter. very young red wine benefits from robust pouring into a container. this exposure to air makes the wine more drinkable sooner.

hold wineglasses by the stem to avoid the wine heating up from contact with the hand. glasses with smaller bowls should be used for chilled wines. this allows the wine to be refreshed from the chilled bottle more often to keep the proper temperature. red wines are usually served in a larger-bowled glass to allow air exposure and to allow swirling to open the wine and release aromas. champagnes should be served in a glass with a longer, narrow bowl - usually a flute or tulip - to preserve the bubbles and direct the aromas to the nose. in france, especially in champagne, the glass of choice is now the half-tulip. it's not as deep, but has a similar shape.