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Is it correct that when serving white wines they should be served chilled, and when serving reds they should be served at room temperature?
—Terrance J., High Point, N.C.
Serving temperatures are really a matter of personal preference, but most people seem to like their whites chilled and their reds at room temperature. Many connoisseurs think that Americans in particular tend to drink our whites too cold and our reds too warm. I bet that’s because most folks chill their whites in the refrigerator (where they can get cold enough to suppress a wine’s aromatics) and serve their reds at the ambient room temperature (which can be a bit on the warm side, depending on your definition of “room temperature”).
More specifically, I think whites show their best anywhere from about 40 to 50 degrees F (the lighter-bodied whites at the colder end of the spectrum, the fuller-bodied whites at the warmer end). To give you some perspective, most food refrigerators are around 35 or 40 degrees F. So think of serving whites a bit cooler than a wine cellar, but warmer than a refrigerator.
For reds, you would typically want them warmer than cellar temperature, but still a bit cooler than most room temperatures—say, 60 to 65 degrees F. Also keep in mind that a wine served cool will warm up in the glass, while a wine served warm will only get warmer. Above all, let your own preferences be your guide.
Ideal Serving Temperature for Wine
Does wine serving temperature matter? Imagine it this way: does lemonade taste better at room temperature or ice-cold? Here are some best practices on wine serving temperature based on style of wine.
Serve red wines slightly cooler than room temperature, between 62–68 degrees F (15–20 °C).
Generally speaking, serve white wines slightly warmer than fridge temperature, between 49-55 degrees F (7–12 °C).
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- Sparkling and Light-Bodied White Wines: “Ice Cold” between 38–45°F / 3-7°C
- Rosé and Full-Bodied White Wines: “Fridge Cold” between 44–55°F / 7-12°C
- Light and Medium-Bodied Red Wines: “Cool” between 55–60°F / 12-15°C
- Bold Red Wines: “Slightly Cool” between 60–68°F / 15-20°C
- Dessert Wines: Depends on style.
Serving Temperature Tips
If the wine burns your nose with the smell of alcohol, it might be too warm. Try cooling it down.
If the wine doesn’t have any flavor, try warming it up. (Common if you store your reds in the fridge)
Generally speaking, wine aficionados don’t like white wines to be too cold or reds to be too hot.
Just so you know, make sure to store your wines at “cellar temperatures” it allows them to last a lot longer!
Lower quality wines do well served cooler, it mutes potential flaws in the aromas. The cooler a wine, the less aroma volatilize in your glass.
Sparkling wines taste great ice-cold, but it’s important to allow higher-quality examples (i.e. vintage Champagne) to warm up a bit to let out their aromas.
Experiment on Your Own
Wine serving temperature greatly affects what flavors and aromas of the wine you’ll smell. Personal preference also matters. If you like drinking everything ice cold, go for it, but check out what you might be missing at warmer temps first.
The Right Temperature To Serve Every Type Of Wine
Does serving wine at certain temperatures affect how the wine tastes? Are there ideal temperatures at which to serve different types of wine? Yes, Yes! Knowing what wines to serve at what temperatures is much easier than you might think. If you’re looking for a quick, elegant way to measure the temperature of your wines, you need to get our Aficionado’s Wine Thermometer!
The Wine Temperature Serving Guide
The reason we try to serve wine at their correct temperatures is because the temperature can dramatically impact the way a wine smells and tastes. By serving the wine at its ideal temperature, we ensure we have the best experience.
Here are three general rules that should serve you well:
Sparkling Wine Should Be Served Ice Cold — 40 to 50 degrees
We like to put our bubbly in the freezer about an hour before we pop it – but don’t forget about it or you’ll have an explosion. If you’re short on time, you can also place the bottle in an ice bucket for 30 minutes and have similar results. The ice cold temperature will keep the bubbles fine rather than foamy. After you open the bottle and pour the first glasses, you should place the open bottle on ice until the entire bottle is finished.
White Wine And Rosé Should Be Served Cold — 50 to 60 degrees
The best way to get white wine and rose cold is to place it in the fridge immediately after buying it; however, if you buy the wine the same day you want to drink it, either leave it in the fridge for several hours, or you can place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. That should do the trick! After opening the bottle and pouring everyone their first glass, we prefer not to place it on ice, but instead let the bottle sweat on the table, as the wine’s aromas and character changes slightly as the temperature rises, which we love.
Red Wine Should Be Served Cool — 60 to 70 degrees
The most common misconception with red wine is that it is ideal to serve it at room temperature, when in fact serving it cool is the best way to enjoy it. To cool red down to its proper temperature, we like to place it in the fridge an hour before serving it. For quicker results, you can put it in the freezer for just 15 minutes. After opening and either decanting or pouring the first glasses, just as with white we like leaving the wine out on the table to slowly warm.
White wine is a wine that is fermented without skin contact. The colour can be straw-yellow, yellow-green, or yellow-gold. It is produced by the alcoholic fermentation of the non-coloured pulp of grapes, which may have a skin of any colour. White wine has existed for at least 4000 years.
The wide variety of white wines comes from the large number of varieties, methods of winemaking, and ratios of residual sugar. White wine is mainly from “white” grapes, which are green or yellow in colour, such as the Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Riesling.