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Ask a Pro: What Temperature Should Wine be Served at?

Ask a Pro: What Temperature Should Wine be Served at?

Dear Wine Pro,
Settle an argument for me, does red wine always need to be served at room temperature?
Thanks,
Chilled Please
Let's start by acknowledging that room temperature isn't really an exact measure. We had this guy in the office once that always turned the AC on full blast and it felt like the arctic in July. So to him, room temperature is about 58 degrees.
Also, preference matters. If you want your Sauvvy B to be ice cold in a can with a fluorescent koozy, we won't judge you.
What do the pros say? It depends (of course it does). The ideal serving temperature for a wine will vary depending on the type of wine and the occasion.

Here are some general guidelines for serving different types of wine:

  • Red Wines: Red wines are typically served at room temperature, which is between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, can be served at slightly cooler temperatures, around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • White Wines: White wines are typically served chilled, at temperatures between 45 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some white wines, such as Chardonnay and Riesling, can be served at slightly warmer temperatures, around 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sparkling Wines: Sparkling wines are typically served chilled, at temperatures between 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some sparkling wines, such as Champagne, can be served at slightly warmer temperatures, around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why? First, the temperature of the wine can affect its flavor. Wines that are served too warm can be flabby and lacking in flavor, while wines that are served too cold can be harsh and unpleasant to drink (or hold, try a koozy). Second, the temperature of the wine can affect its aroma. Wines that are served at the correct temperature will release their aromas more fully, allowing you to enjoy the full flavor of the wine.

If you are not sure what temperature to serve your wine at, it is always best to serve it slightly chilled. This is because it is easier to warm up a cold wine than it is to cool down a warm wine. Makes sense right?

Here are a few tips for serving wine at the correct temperature:

  • Chill your wine in the refrigerator or freezer. This is the quickest way to chill wine. However, be careful not to chill the wine too much, as this can make it taste flabby and lacking in flavor.
  • Place your wine in an ice bucket. This is a more gradual way to chill wine. Fill an ice bucket with ice and water, and then place your wine bottle in the bucket. The ice will help to chill the wine without making it too cold.
  • Let your wine breathe. Before you serve your wine, let it breathe for a few minutes. This will allow the wine to oxidize and develop its flavors. You can do this by opening the wine bottle and letting it sit for a few minutes, or by decanting the wine into a decanter.
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