It may seem obvious that a wine that is too warm or too cold can be detrimental to a wine’s enjoyment. However, did you know that small changes in serving temperature can change a wine’s aromas and flavours, making the difference between a beautiful glass of wine and something boring, flat, or nondescript? Serving wine at the correct temperature has a huge impact on the overall experience of wine-tasting.
Wine served at the correct temperature enhances the overall experience and allows unique aromas and flavours to come forward. Many wine labels will let you know the recommended serving temperature, but it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the overall guidelines for each type.
How Temperature Can Affect the Taste Of Wine
Temperature affects the way we drink wine because different aromas become apparent or more pronounced at different temperatures. And the smell of wine has a large impact on our enjoyment of it.
When wine is served too cold, the delicate aromas that are such a critical part of wine may become muted. This makes the wine feel flat and uninspiring. It can also emphasize the tannins in red wine, making a glass of Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon feel astringent and sour. When wine is too warm, the taste of the alcohol is much more apparent, and it overpowers more subtle flavours.
Wine Serving Temperature Guide
Each wine has its own specific wine serving temperature, and it can really benefit your bottles to serve them at the correct temperature. If you’ve been wondering how to serve wine at the exact right temperature, just follow this handy guide.
Ideally, sparkling wine is served ice cold. By serving your Prosecco or Champagne chilled, you keep the bubbles sparkly and fine, rather than overwhelmingly frothy and foamy like a soda. Think between 40 and 50°F, or between 5 and 10°C. You can use the freezer, but don’t leave it in for longer than an hour or it could explode!
The ideal wine serving temperature for white wine is between 44- 57°F, or 7-14°C. The standard refrigerator will get your white wine to this temperature in an hour or two. Between pours, make sure to put the bottle back in the fridge or in an ice bucket so it doesn’t get too warm sitting at room temperature.
Light Red Wine
A light red wine should ideally be served cool, but not cold. Moving the bottle from the countertop to the fridge a half-hour before serving gives it a nice chill, but won’t make it too cold to enjoy. This would be somewhere between 53-63°F, or 12-17°C.
Full-Bodied Red Wine
Many people follow the rule that red wine should be served at room temperature. The problem is “room temperature” was post-war English room temperature, which was decidedly cooler than it is today.
Full-bodied red wines like Chianti and Bordeaux benefit from being served slightly cool, which is considered anywhere between 63- 69°F or 17-21°C. If your wine has a higher level of tannins, consider serving it on the warmer end of that spectrum.
Quick Fixes: How To Avoid A Last Minute Tasting Faux Pas
Even if you’ve got guests coming over in 20 minutes, there are things you can do to ensure your wine is at the optimal temperature.
If you’re in a rush, drop your bottle of sparkling wine or even white wine in an ice bucket with water for half an hour. This will cool the bottle down quickly, instead of having to wait 1-2 hours for it to chill in the freezer or refrigerator.
If you’ve accidentally over-chilled your wine, dunk it in a container of warm water. Monitor it carefully, because the temperature can rise quickly when the bottled is immersed.
The Small Winemakers Collection offers the best wine for any occasion. We’re passionate about every aspect of the winemaking process, from the partnerships we’ve made with small winemakers around the world to the precise temperature that makes their vintages taste incredible. Ordering online is easy, and we can ship right to your door in a matter of days.