Your Wine Serving Temperature Guide
Just like some humans prefer cold temperatures and some do better in warmer climates, wines are sensitive to temperature.
This isn’t just about taste or whether it’s a really hot summer day and you’d drink anything as long as it’s cold, there are scientific guidelines that determine what temperature at which your wine will be its best.
If a wine is too cold, its natural flavors and aromas don’t have as much of a chance to shine through. Think of it like a soda that’s been diluted by ice- all you really taste is just cold and bubbles right? Well, if a wine is too warm, there’s going to be an overwhelming alcoholic quality, like when your beer is too warm so it just tastes skunky and bad.
Wine temperatures are pretty simple! If you are cool and have a small wine cooling fridge that is temperature controlled, that’s great! If not, just use your regular refrigerator and a timer, and you’ll be serving the perfect temp wines in no time.
Sparkling wine and rosé: Between 40° and 50°
The most important thing about sparkling wines and rosé are the bubbles, so it’s important to maintain them. A good bottle of either needs to be thoroughly chilled before serving so stick in the freezer for at least an hour before serving or if you’re afraid you’ll forget it in there, a bucket of ice water will do. This rule also goes for those deliciously sweet dessert wines which should be ice cold when served.
White Wine: Between 50° and 60°
A good white wine shouldn’t be ice cold but it should be warmer than room temperature. Stick it in the freezer or an ice bucket but then remove it about 20-30 minutes before serving. This way it will have a lovely chill to it but it won’t be totally cold. If it’s still too chilly when you pour, cup your hands around the bowl of your glass to warm it up.
Red Wine: Between 60° and 70°
A full-bodied red needs a whole lot of room to breathe and you’ll want every one of those zesty flavors so it’s important that a red is always served slightly cooler than room temperature. This is where a wine fridge will be helpful as it can stay at a consistent 65° at all times but if you don’t have one, just keep it in the fridge for about a half hour before serving and warm it in your hands for a couple minutes before you pour.
- Remember that the wine will immediately get warmer as you pour it into glasses so it’s okay if the wine is a bit too cold when you open it.
- If a bottle is still too warm, stick it in a bucket of ice water for a few minutes. If it’s too cold, a bucket of warm water will do.
- Never expose your wine to high heat! Slow and steady wins this race so be patient.
- For the sake of everything delicious in this world, please do not put ice in your wine. If it’s summertime and you want an ice cold white wine to stay ice cold, try freezing some fruit! Just don’t dilute that beautiful vino with plain old water.