You pick up a bottle of wine from your local grocery store, liquor store, or even the winery itself and you notice something, they are all kept at the same exact temperature. Whether the wine is red or white, sparkling or flat, they all maintain the same temperature of the store on the shelf. So, you bring it home and it’s time to decide what temperature you should cool your wine to. If you know this already, fantastic, but to those who don’t, follow along and learn exactly what temperature you should serve your favorite wines at!
When it comes to wine, the temperature it is served at can release or mute different flavors and fragrances. This means that wine is not a one size fits all when it comes to temperature. The ideal wine temperature is largely dependent on its color and effervescence, or lack there of.
White & Rosé Wines:
On our color scale, the first up is the lightest whites and Rosé wines. For the best expression of your white or Rosé wine, it should be served at a temperature that is slightly warmer than refrigerator temperature, which is about 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. White wine and Rosé wine can sometimes be compared to lemonade; both are often light, fruity, and refreshing, making them delectable when served cold. But remember, fruity does not necessarily make them sweet!
Next on the list are the richer white wines. This category of whites should be consumed in the temperature range of 45 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, known as cool (for whites). Rich white wines like an oaky Chardonnay exhibit softer flavors of vanilla that become muted when the wine is too cold. To have the most expressive flavors and aromas emerge from rich whites this is the best range to stay in.
Now we start into the red wines. Lighter red wines are best served between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, known as cool (for reds). Parallel to lighter white wines, lighter red wines often exhibit lighter, fruity, acidic flavors and aromas that taste better cooler than their richer opposite. Fruity, light reds might consist of wines like Pinot Noirs and Zinfandels.
Last but certainly not least we have the bold, rich, darker red wines. This tier of red wines is served at the warmest temperature of them all, at around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, known as slightly cool. With bursting flavors, and a high tannic profile, the warmer temperature makes it easier to pick up on the wine’s intricate bouquet and palate profile than if it were cold. A Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah are all perfect examples of rich red wines that deserve a slightly cool temperature when being consumed - but not so cold that the wine’s fullest expression is muted.
Champagne & Sparking Wines:
Wines with effervescence such as sparkling wines and Champagne deserve their own temperature category known as ice cold, which ranges between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course this temperature leads to refreshing bottle of bubbly goodness, but more expensive, high quality bottles can be enjoyed slightly warmer to gather all the flavors and fragrances that lie within it.
If you have noticed the patterns, which I’m sure you have, lighter, fruitier flavors are best served cooler, meanwhile bolder, richer wines are more appealing served warmer. With this being said, a high quality wine should generally be served warmer to make sure you absorb and all the flavors and aromas it has to offer, and cheaper wines can be served cooler to hide any poor quality tastes and scents.
Additionally, since ordering wine for delivery or joining an online wine club is gaining more popularity, the wines may experience some fluctuation in temperature on its way to your door. The best way to combat this is to place the bottles in your fridge for at least a few hours or overnight before opening them. Doing so will allow the wines to settle and come back to their ideal serving temperature for you to then enjoy.
All in all, how you drink your wine is entirely up to you! If you prefer all of your wines cold or all of them warmer, that is entirely up to you. As long as you are enjoying a wonderful glass (or bottle) of wine, then you are drinking correctly, this is just a guide to reference if you please.