I understand, but vehemently dislike, the habit of automatically serving all white wines in ice buckets. Allowing for certain exceptions - most sparkling wines, vino verde, very hot days, etc. - I'll always insist that if a white wine is worth drinking, it's worth drinking with no more than a light chill.* So you can, you know, taste it.**
But I have to admit I smiled when, at La Bodeguita du IVème the other day with my friends D,C, E, and K, our Cour-Cheverny arrived bobbing in what appeared to be an enormous repurposed kitchen-grade tomato tin.
At a certain point it became clear that at La Bodeguita the ice-drums are to compensate for a lack of fridge space, which in the center of Paris is totally excusable. If you order something that doesn't happen to be in the fridge, they'll throw it on ice for a few moments, and it arrives at your table nice and not-very-cold-at-all. Perfect, if you ask me.
*Perhaps slightly below the ideal temperature of a delicious bright cru Beaujolais. (I'm going to keep harping on this. Cru Beaujolais. Nectar of Gods, etc.)
**Over-chilling dulls taste, mutes aromas, and generally makes everything taste like cold nothing. It seems plain that the habit of over-chilling whites is a mass response to the widespread prevalence of nasty industrially fabricated chemical-smelling white wine; i.e. what we do to avoid tasting it. Which is to say that I wholeheartedly recommend throwing ice cubes in bad wine. The folly is that a whole drinking populace now treats all white wine like bad white wine, demanding that it all be served at cruel antarctic temperatures.
La Bodeguita du IVème
58, rue Quincampoix
Tel: 06 19 36 70 06
Rocking out to Queen @ La Bodeguita