There's nothing quite as disappointing as ordering or buying a nice bottle of wine, only to have it served at the wrong temperature. Whether you're serving red wine, white wine, sparkling wine or dessert wine, there's an ideal serving temperature that will bring out the best flavour in your beverage. In this blog post, we'll break down the ideal serving temperature for every type of wine, and provide tips on how to serve them at the right temperature even if you don't have a wine cooler!
Wine serving temperature guidelines
Why does wine serving temperature matter?
Serving wine too hot or cold can have an effect both on the wine's structure and the aromas that come through. Each style of wine has its own ideal temperature based on its body, the wine style, and its structure and flavour profile.
For example, a wine served too cold will lose its aromas, while a wine served too warm can taste alcoholic and unbalanced. As a general rule of thumb, the lighter-bodied the wine, the cooler it should be served, and vice-versa for fuller-bodied wines.
What if I have a wine cooler?
If you have a specialised temperature-controlled wine cooler like a Vintec, then achieving the perfect serving temperature for your wine is easy! Especially if you have a multi-zone wine cooler. Just set the wine cooler to the correct temperature for the type of wine inside, which you'll find in this article, and voila!
If your wine cooler is not multi-zone, and you want to store all different kinds of wine in it, set it to "wine cellar temperature' which is around 13°C.
What if I don't have a wine cooler?
If you're storing your wines at room temperature or keeping most of your white wine in the fridge, below is a wine temperature serving guide that covers the proper temperature for every type of wine, and how to achieve it using nothing but your fridge.
What is the ideal wine serving temperature for sparkling wines and Champagne?
Sparkling wines like Champagne and Prosecco should be served at around 5°C. This isn't quite ice-cold temperature, but it's close. Basically, you want to serve these when you take them out of the fridge immediately.
An ice bucket can also help keep your bubbly cold. It's best to put the bottle in first and then add ice until the entire bottle is submerged, especially if you're not planning on serving it right away.
Keeping the bottle cold will keep the bubbles fine, and maintain that mouthfeel we all love about sparkling wine. If it gets too warm, the bubbles will become too big and aggressive.
Vintage Champagne, however, with its richer flavour profile, can stand to be server a bit warmer at around 9°C, so still straight out of the fridge, but perhaps not buried in ice after that.
What's the right temperature to serve light-bodied white wines at?
The perfect temperature for white light-bodied wines like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio is around 7-10°C.
Generally speaking, this still means straight out of the fridge but leaving it out on the counter top or resting gently on top of some ice or partially submerged, depending on your tastes. Letting the bottle sweat and slowly warm a little will reward you with the wine's aromas being released more while still retaining all its finesse.
What's the correct wine serving temperature for full and medium bodied whites?
Medium and fuller-bodied white wines like Chardonnay and Viognier have serving temperatures between 9-13°C. Taking the bottle out of the fridge 20 minutes before serving wine to your guests (or just yourself) is ideal.
Depending on the wine's body, after this 20 minutes, you may want to return it to the fridge or leave it out. As the wine's temperature rises it will develop a richer mouthfeel, allowing its body to really come through.
What is the ideal wine serving temperature for rosé?
The correct temperatures for rosé can vary a little based on the style. Lighter styles are the most common, and this kind of wine should be served at around 7°C, lust like lighter-bodied white wines, straight out of the fridge.
Some rosé are more medium bodied wines and these are better served at 13°C, so keep them in the fridge but take them out 20 minutes before serving so they're only lightly chilled when served.
What's the right temperature for serving light-bodied red wine?
Light-bodied red wines like Pinot Noir and Gamay should be served at a temperature range of 12-15°C. To achieve this, it's best to store these wines at room temperature, and then put them in the fridge for 20 minutes before serving.
This is just a rule of thumb though. Some light red wine is explicitly made to be served chilled, especially low alcohol red wine made with carbonic maceration (a process that makes the wines taste extra fruity and less astringent). If your wine is indeed meant to be a chilled red wine, then keep it in the fridge and take it out 20 minutes before serving, as you would with full-bodied white wines.
What's the correct wine serving temperature for medium and full-bodied red wines?
This is generally just below room temperature for medium-bodied red wines and at room temperature for full-bodied wines. This is just a guideline though, since if you have central heating for example, the temperature in your home might be well above the serving temperatures the wine should be served at. If this is the case, a quick 10 minute stint in the fridge before serving your medium or full-bodied red wine will do the trick.
What's the right temperature for serving dessert wines and fortified wines?
Unfortified dessert wines like Sauternes and Botrytis Semillon (also known as Noble Semillon) are about the same as lighter-bodied white wine, or 6-10°C. They generally benefit from being on the warmer side of this range, so you can serve them straight out of the fridge, but give them 5 minutes in the glass for best results.
Fortified wines like Port are best served at the same temperature as fuller-bodied red wines, or 15-19°C. So, storing them at more or less room temperature is fine, but 10 minutes in the fridge just before serving is ideal.
The bottom line on wine serving temperature
In the end, while we've provided you with some guidelines on the ideal temperatures to serve wine at, and we hope you benefit from them, it is entirely up to you.
Some prefer their wine warmer or cooler, and it really is a personal choice after all, but we do suggest giving our guidelines a go, at least for a few bottles.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how good your favourite drops can taste when they're just served at a few degrees higher or lower. Cheers!