Do you know what’s the right temperature to serve a wine? And why it is so important?
I wrote this post to share with you one of the fundamental points about wine knowledge.
Wine serving temperature is very important! Every wine is different. There are particular characteristics for every wine: aromas and tastes. If you serve a wine at the wrong temperature you cannot appreciate all these characteristics and the wine will not taste as good as it should.
You can try to do a simple test: tasting the same wine at two different temperatures, for example 5°C (41°F) and 20°C (68°F). I guarantee that the same wine will taste very different in each case!
But now I want to tell you what are the right temperatures to serve a wine depending on its variety.
Are you ready? Let’s start!
Wine Serving Temperature
Heat and cold intensify different characteristics in a wine. The heat accentuates some of the aromas and also the alcohol. On the contrary, the cold accentuates a wine’s acidity.
If you have a red wine for example, you want to recognize the spices in it. The cold will not allow you to do that!
Now that you know why it’s important to serve wine at the right temperature I will go into more detail about the different temperatures.
Sparkling Wine: 4-8°C (40-47°F)
In this category you can find dry or brut wines produced via the Charmat Method (Martinotti Method) or Classic Method; they are served at 4-6°C (40-43°F). Sweet and aromatic white wines can be served at 6-8°C (43-47°F). There are also red sparkling wines for which the serving temperature is 8°C (47°F).
White Wine: 8-12°C (47-54°F)
White wines have more acidity and less tannins than red wines. Low temperatures encourage the pleasure of an acidic beverage. Young wines can be served at 8-10°C (47-50°F), however the mature wines or dessert wines are better at 10-12°C (50-54°F).
Rosé Wine: 10-14°C (50-57°F)
Rosé wines are similar to white wines. The only difference is the higher number of tannins. If the wine is young, it can be served at 10-12°C (50-54°F) and a wine with a good structure at 12-14°C (54-57°F).
Red Wine: 14-18°C (57-65°F)
There are different characteristics when it comes red wines that the previous categories do not have. They have a high number of tannins and lower acidity. Elegant wines can be served at 14°C (57°F), mid structured and dessert wines at 14-16°C (57-61°F), wines with good structure and mature wines at 16-18°C (61-65°F).
Quick tips to refrigerate faster wine
If you haven’t got much time before a wine tasting, you can follow these quick tips to refrigerate the bottle.
Between 2 and 3 hours
Classic refrigeration, just put the bottle in your fridge and there will be plenty of time to reach the desired temperature.
You have two options. First one is to fill a wine bucket with cold water and ice. The second is to cover the bottle with a wet rag and put it in the refrigerator.
Less than 1 hour
Fill a wine bucket with cold water and ice and put a spoon of salt in the water to speed up the cooling process.
Cold is better than hot
And here’s one last tip that I’d like to give you. My advice it to always cool the wine at a slightly lower serving temperature than the list I suggested above. The reason being is that when you serve the wine into the glass, the temperature will increase slightly in few short minutes. That’s why a colder wine is always better than a warm wine!
A funny question! Have you ever tasted a cold red wine or a warm white wine? Let me know what you thought about the experience with a comment!
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