Temperatures for Serving Red, White, and Rosé Wines
Serving wine at the correct temperature is about as important for pleasure of drinking it as correct storage and handling. Wine served too cold cannot develop its full bouquet, but will also “cover up” some minor imperfections. Wine served too warm makes the taste of the alcohol to over power the flavor and bouquet of the wine.
Wine served too warm makes the taste of the alcohol to over power the flavor and bouquet of the wine.
Of course, the temperature wine is served at is often down to a person’s preference, but there are a few general guidelines that should be followed to ensure the wine is enjoyed at it’s best.
Keep in mind that the instruction “serve at room temperature” refers to the cellar temperature rather than that in your regular living room. Also, it is safer to serve wine just a little cooler, as it warms up very quickly in the glass.
It is important to bring the wine to the correct temperature gently. Generally, place a bottle of white wine in the refrigerator, where it will cool approximately 2°C (4°F) every 10 minutes. Rapid chilling in an ice bucket can shock the wine and if left too long, will cool it close to 0°C (30°F).
Bringing red wines to temperature is much the same. It is best to leave the bottle to warm naturally to room temperature. Placing it in the sun or next to a heater will negatively affect its flavor.
A wine thermometer is handy as it helps to easily check the temperature, and they usually come with a useful chart.
Below is a guide to the correct temperatures for different kinds of wine:
- 6-8°C (43-46°F) Sparkling wine and Champagne. Most varieties of sweet dessert wines including Sauterne, Ice wine and “Spaetlese” wines.
- 7-10°C (45-54°F) White wines of various grape varieties such as Chenin Blancs, Tokaji, light Chardonnays, Rieslings, white Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blancs.
- 10-12°C (50-54°F) Rosé wine, white Burgundy wines, light red wines such as Beaujolais and light European red wines from Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Light Sherry.
- 14-16°C (57-61°F) Matured red wines of various grape varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel. Bordeaux, red Burgundy, Rhone valley and most Italian and Spanish wines. Fortified wines such as Port, dark Sherry, Marsala, Vermouth, Madeira and Muscat.
- 16-18°C (61-65°F) Very matured Grand Crus wines.