What Temperature Should My Wine Be?

What Temperature Should My Wine Be?

If you store your red wines next to the dog’s bed, and your white wines next to the milk and eggs, you’re not alone. Most people abide by the general premise of serving reds at room temperature and whites fresh out of the fridge. But like your high school guidance counselor told you, just because everyone else is doing it, it doesn’t mean it’s right.

Why should you care? Wine is wine, right? Yes, regardless of temperature, it’s still fermented grape juice that’ll make your sister-in-law seem almost pleasant. But you’re spending money on an experience– you should get the most out of that experience as possible. Serve a wine too cold, and it’ll taste bland, with its flavors and aromatics muted. Serve it too warm, and those flavors will rapidly disappear, leading to a soft-tasting wine short on freshness and structure. 

Fortunately, there’s a very simple solution: The Fifteen-Minute Rule. For red wine, keep it at room temperature, and put it in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes before you want to drink it. For white wine, keep the bottle in the refrigerator, and pull it out fifteen minutes before you want to drink it. It’s as simple as that.

In the event that you have a wine fridge, feel free to get into the weeds with specific serving temperatures for different styles of wine. Light and medium-bodied white wines, like albariño, Muscadet, or sauvignon blancas well as sparkling wines like Champagne, should be served chilled at around 45-50 degrees. Rosé and full-bodied white wines like viognier or White Burgundy should be lightly chilled to around 50-55 degrees, and the same can be said for “chillable reds” like Beaujolais or Valpolicella. Reds with more meat on their bones like Chianti or barbera should be within shouting distance of 60 degrees, while full-bodied reds like cabernet sauvignon can be served at room temp (assuming your dog likes its bedroom temp around 65 degrees). 

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