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How To Achieve The Best Serving Temperature

Have you ever had a glass of your favourite wine and tasted differently?

While it is true that different vintages of the same wine could vary in aroma or even in flavour, these changes are normally very subtle in nature and noticeable to the true connoisseur.

However, if your favourite wine, all of the sudden is not as good as you remember it, chances are it has been served at the wrong temperature.

One of the most common mistakes when it comes to wine temperature, is to serve all types of reds at what is known as “room temperature”. The problem is that this concept dates back to the fifteen hundreds in Europe, where the stone-wall chateaus usually kept room temperatures below 68oF/20oC degrees.

As we all know, times have changed and global warming together with modern building technics means that, unless you are reading this from Antarctica, your room temperature in summer is likely to be well over the right serving temperature of 60o to 65oF / 16o to 18oC degrees for a full body red.  If you try serving any of these types of wines, at let’s say at 77oF/25oC degrees, the alcohol in them will dominate the taste and diminish those characteristic notes of your favourite red.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, a wine that is served too cold, like when you are serving a white straight out of kitchen fridge at 36F/2C degrees, all you will taste is a highly acidic and sour wine, regardless of its vintage. For reds on the other hand, if served too cold, the tannins in the wine become harsh and caustic, taking over any flavour and richness you would otherwise perceive.

This is why serving each type of wine at the right temperature, unlocks its full expression, leading to the best experience.

How do you get that white or red wine to the right temperature?

One option is to chill your wines before serving them in a household fridge and let them warm up before serving them. For this method, you will need to use a wine thermometer to check when it has achieved the right temperature to be served.

Although this method could work well if for white wines, we do not recommend trying it for reds, as the difference in temperatures could be quite large
if you leave them in the fridge for too long.

The best option to ensure you always keep both your reds and whites at the ideal condition is to keep them in a dual zone wine fridge.  

In this article, we will share everything you need to know to decide what’s the best temperature for your particular wine and occasion.

The Best Wine Serving Temperatures

Best wine serving temperature

1.    For Light Dry Sparkling Wines, Rosés And White Wines

The best temperature for these wine variants is 40o to 50o F / 4° to 10°C. This preserves their fruitiness and freshness, and for sparklers, it keeps the bubbles fine instead of foamy. You can also store white dessert wines at this temperature range because chilling makes it easier to enjoy their vibrant aromas. To reach this temperature, consider putting your bubbly in the freezer an hour (no minute more) before the moment. Placing your bottle in an ice bucket for 30 minutes also achieves similar results. Also, ensure that the open bottle remains on ice till the entire bottle is finished.

2.    For Light Fruity Reds And Full-bodied White Wines

The best-serving temperature for these wines is 50° to 60° F / 10o to 16°C. You can also reach that temperature by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving. Once you’ve opened and poured everyone their first glass, we recommend allowing the bottle to sweat on the table, so the wine aroma and flavour change slightly as the temperature rises.

3.    Full-bodied Red Wines, Sauternes, Sherry, And Ports

There’s a popular misconception that red wine at room temperature is the ideal way to enjoy it. In reality, serving it slightly cool is more perfect. We recommend serving at 60° to 65° F /16o to 18°C. Consider placing in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving or in the freezer for 10 minutes. Once opened and poured, leave the open bottle on the table so it slowly warms up.

4. Champagne

Champagnes have the coldest serving temperatures of 47o to 50°F / 8o to 10°C. If you chill a lot lower than this temperature, the aromas will be harder to detect. Above that temperature and the wine may appear less bright and heavier.

These temperatures are only a rough guide, as some wines may full in between. So, here are some other tips you can use to achieve the perfect temperature:

  • No wine should be served over 68˚F / 20˚C.
  • Your wine glass also affects your serving temperature, and wines should always be poured towards the centre of any wine glass
  • If you do not wish to finish a bottle, ensure to use wine pumps, argon gas, or wine bottle stoppers to ensure that your wine does not get wasted
  • An extra corkscrew is essential.
  • Protect your wine bottles from light, as exposure to the sun can lead to premature aging.

How To Warm Up Or Cool Down A Bottle Of Wine

How To Warm Up Or Cool Down A Bottle Of Wine, wine serving temperature

Digital thermometers are the best way to make sure you get the right wine temperature. But sometimes, you need a little fix and some ‘guesstimate’ to get just the right temperature before enjoying your wine. Here are some tips on how to warm up or cool down your wine.

If your wine is too warm, consider immersing in a mix of ice and cold water. This cools the bottle more quickly than ice alone and may require about 30 minutes for sparkling wine and 10 minutes for your red wine. You can also place it in the freezer for 15 minutes, but don’t forget!

If your wine is too cold, consider immersing briefly in a bucket of warm water, but not high heat. You can also pour it into a container rinsed with hot water.  

When your wine is just a little cold, just pour it into your glass and cup it around your hand to warm up.

Finally, don’t forget that the wine served will surely warm up in the glass. So we recommend starting at a slightly lower than target temperature to enjoy the aroma as it warms up.

Now you know how to get the tastiest wine serving temperature, you are all set-up for a fantastic wine experience on any occasion.



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