What temperature do I serve Wine at ....

Serving temperature for wines;

Tradition has it that white wines are chilled and red wines are served at room temperature is a useful starting point, although not nearly detailed enough. There is a degree of personal preferance involved, but the temperature at which your wine is served is important, and it is worth spending a few moments thinking about it, as it will greatly influance your enjoyment.

A wine served a little too cold or a little too warm can lose an awful lot of character, particularly with respect to aroma.

Most domestic refrigerators maintain their internal environment at about 4C, which is far too cold for most white wines. Champagne and dry white wines of quality are best served at a temperature between 8C and 10C.

Inexpensive white wines, cheaper sparkling wines and sweet white wines are best a little colder, perhaps 4C to 8C, so two hours or so should bring these bottles down to a reasonable temperature.

The ideal serving temperature for many fine red wines is 14C to 18C. Some reds, unless stored somewhere cool, will benefit from half an hour in the refrigerator. This is particularly the case for Beaujolais and young Burgundy, as well as Pinot Noir from the New World. Good claret, Rhnes and other reds from warmer climes are generally fine at 16 - 18C.

When bringing the wine to the correct temperature, its obviously important not to damage the wine. Gentle cooling in the fridge is best, and cooling in a bucket of water and ice is also safe, and more rapid. It will have the effect of bringing the wine down to 0C, which is far too cold to appreciate the wine, so you will need to remove the bottle before it gets this far.

If trying to warm a bottle which is too cold, there is a more significant risk of damaging the wine. Warm the wine gently, preferably by planning ahead and bringing the wine from its cool storage area, be it wine cellar or fridge, several hours in advance.

Many are tempted to try and accelerate the process by placing the wine near radiators or other sources of heat. This is a recipe for likely disaster, with the end result quite possibly a stewed, soupy, over-heated wine, especially left their too long as the mind is occupied elsewhere.

If in doubt, always err on the side of caution and serve wine cooler. A wine served in the way will soon warm up in the glass, probably releasing a sequence of pleasing aromas as it does so.

For accuracy, why not make it easier and buy a bottle collar, or one of our wine thermometers or wine kits.

Wine Type

Celsius

Fahrenheit

Red Wines;

10-18

50-65

Bordeaux, Shiraz

18

64

Red Burgundy, Cabernet

63

17

Rioja, Pinot Noir

61

16

Chianti, Zinfandel

59

15

Beaujolais, Ros

54

12

 

 

 

Champagne

7

45

Sparkling Wines;

6-11

42-52

 

 

 

Fortified Wines;

14-20

55-68

Vintage Port

19

66

Tawny/NV Port, Madeira

14

57

 

 

 

White Wines;

7-10

45-50

Viognier, Sauternes

11

52

Chardonnay

9

48

Riesling

8

47

Ice Wines

6

43

Asti Spumanti

5

41