Beginners Guide To Understanding Wine Temperatures

On the way to becoming a wine connoisseur, one must foray into the world of wine storage and serving. This means understanding both the optimal temperatures to store wine and the different temperatures they are best served at.

Most wine coolers store wine between 53 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit with some having specific cooling zones for white and red wine. While this is fine, the same constant temperature range rule doesn’t apply when it comes to serving wine.

Read on below to understand more about which temperate to best serve specific wine at and why this is the case.

Different wines are best served at different temperatures

Although all wine is stored at a similar temperature, the same doesn’t apply when it comes to serving wine. White wine is best served chilled but if it’s served a little too cold you’re not getting the best out of it. A similar outcome applies if red wine is served too warm. Here are the best serving temperatures to match for different types of wine:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot: From 64 to 66 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Chablis or Chardonnay: From 64 to 66 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pinot Noir: From 60 to 64 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sparkling Wine, Champagne, or Dessert Wines: 40 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc: From 45 to 48 Degrees Fahrenheit.

The general rule of thumb is if when dealing with a white wine variant, aim for a lower temperature range and then go up in increments of ten degrees Fahrenheit for darker options.

For example, if it’s any form of sparkling wine then aim for 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, white wine and rosé should be 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and red wines between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s that simple!

Now notice how in the above how none of these including red wine are served at ‘room temperature’ but below it, so how is wine brought to this ideal cool temperature? This is known as Wine Cooling and we’ll dive into it below.

Understanding Wine Cooling

When it comes to wine cooling there are two techniques that needs to be followed depending on if one owns a wine cooler or not.

Wine cooling from wine stored in a  wine cooler

With a wine cooler, the wine is stored between 53 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit. This means when it comes to serving wine, the technique to bring it to the best serving temperature varies between white and red wine.

White wine: With white wine, it will need to be cooled a bit before serving. As a result, place the white wine in the fridge for 30 minutes after taking it out of the wine cooler before serving.

Red wine: With red wine, it will need to be warmed a bit before serving. As a result, place the red wine bottle outside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Wine cooling without a wine cooler

If the wine hasn’t been placed in a wine cooler then it’s a bit easier to bring it to its best-serving temperature.   Simply pop the white wine into the fridge for 15 – 30 minutes to give it a slight chill before serving. Try to ensure that it doesn’t get colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

With red wine, simply leave it in room temperature if it has been somewhere colder. When it feels like it’s at room temperature, then it’s ready to serve. If it already feels warm, then pop it into the fridge for a quick 5 minutes before serving.

Simplicity is key when it comes to understanding wine serving as a beginner and following these general guidelines will ensure the wine being served is at its best.