What’s the Proper Temp for Serving Wine?

We know that soft drinks are meant to be served well chilled and that hot chocolate should be served…well…hot.

But what about wine? The question of the proper serving temperature for wine comes up quite often, so we thought it was time to tackle that topic in our FAQ department…

QUESTION: I’ve heard that most wines, including whites, taste best when they’re served at room temperature. Is this true?

ANSWER: With the exception of sparkling wines, which are best consumed well chilled (43-46 degrees), that’s not a bad basic rule of thumb.

However, that “rule” came into being prior to the development of modern heating and air conditioning, when “room temperature” was a good deal cooler than it is in most households today.

The “rule” also serves as a reminder that one should not over-chill white varieties because doing so can mask the flavors of the wine.

Precision is better than generalities, however, so try for these temperature ranges when serving wine:

  • High-end reds: 59-61 degrees
  • Reds in general: 50-60 degrees
  • Complex whites: 50-54 degrees
  • Whites in general: 46-50 degrees
  • Rosés: 50-54 degrees
  • White dessert wines: 43-48 degrees

Missing by a few degrees in either direction isn’t a big deal, but if you can stay within those ranges, you’ll have the best chance of getting full enjoyment out of the given wine.

Posted in Wine FAQ
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