The reason that certain wines should be served at certain temperatures isn’t just a matter of preference. There’s a real science behind it. Wine Enthusiast explains that the wine’s “chemical composition” is the main determining factor behind the degree of chilled it should be.
Speaking with VinePair, Certified Sommelier Michael Kennedy also mentions 55 to 60 degrees as the ideal temperature for red wines. Kennedy explains that at this temperature, “the flavors will become focused, the alcohol will not be as evident, and the structure will be tighter.” Per VinePair, temperatures above this sweet spot make the wine’s alcohol flavor more prominent, and colder temperatures lead to “astringent” flavors coming from the wine’s tannins.
Wine Enthusiast explains the type of wine that should be served coldest (between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit) is sparkling wine, as lower temperatures help retain the wine’s bubbly carbon dioxide content. Lifehacker notes that sparkling red wines should receive this same treatment — not only will it make the drink taste better, but it’ll also lessen your chances of the bottle unpleasantly exploding.