Most red wines are served too warm; the “room temperature” rule originated in Europe, where room temperature is between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, chilled white wine came from the European cellar, where temperatures hover around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.Personally if I want to enjoy a three-bottles-for-$10 Pinot Grigio and there isn't one in the refrigerator, I just drop in a couple ice cubes.
In America, to achieve the ideal wine temperature you actually have to cool red wines and warm white wines, assuming your reds are stored in a room temperature wine rack and your whites are kept cold (too cold!) in the refrigerator. Average room temperatures can be over 70 degrees and most refrigerators are a frosty 35 degrees Fahrenheit. One critic recommends putting a bottle of red wine in the fridge for 45 minutes before serving while taking a bottle of white wine out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to serving.
Oenophiles (and newbies to this blog) might like to read my 2009 post about freezing wine and medieval distillation processes.