Wine Serving Temperatures

Guidelines for wine serving temperatures.

Reds: In general they should be served at room temperature (or slightly cooler). However, some light reds will be better appreciated if they are chilled for a short period of time (1 hour in the refrigerator is enough) to bring their temperature down to approximately 60*F (15*C).

Whites: They should be served chilled. The lighter the wine the cooler the temperature can be. Let’s say you should keep a light wine in the refrigerator for 4 hours (after that, chances are it will not get any colder any way) to bring the temperature down to 42-48*F, while a full-bodied white should be chilled for not much longer than one hour to a temperature around 60*F (same as a light red). If the wine is sweet or very aromatic, around 2 hours in the refrigerator (52-54*F) will do the trick.

Serving White Wines: Chilled wines are refreshing. Chilling does mask flavor, so the finer the wine, the less it will need chilling. Remember, ice with water in an ice bucket chills more efficiently than just ice alone.

 

Type of Wine                          Refrigeration      Serving Temperature C      Serving Temperature F
Sparkling 4 hours 5-10 41-50
Light Sweet Whites 4 hours 5-10 41-50
Dry Light Aromatic Whites 2 hours 10-12 50-54
Medium-bodied Dry Whites 1.5 hours 10-12 50-54
Full-bodied Sweet Whites 1.5 hours 10-12 50-54
Full-bodied Dry Whites 1 hour 12-16 54-61

 

Serving Red Wines: The tannin level in a wine dictates the temperature at which it should be served. The more tannic a wine, the warmer you should drink it. Reds that are low in tannin can be chilled like a full-bodied white. If a red is served too warm, it will become soupy and all you will be able to taste and smell will be the alcohol. As with all wine, serve cooler rather than warmer.

 

Type of Wine                Refrigeration     Serving Temperature C
Light Reds 1 hour 12-16
Medium-bodied Reds - 14-17
Full-bodied Reds - 15-18

 

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