Wine Serving Temperature Guidelines

iStock_000007403632Small -wine thermometerThe “right” serving temperature for wine is a matter of personal preference. However, the temperature at which a wine is served influences how much one enjoys its qualities because of the impact temperature has on flavor and aromas. Serving wine “too cold” dampens the aroma and accentuates bitterness, while serving wine “too warm” can result in unbalanced flavor and a harsh alcoholic edge.

In general, lighter, lower-tannin wines should be served cooler than fuller-bodied, higher-tannin wines, and younger wines should be served cooler than older wines. For example, white wines that are young, light, minerally, and bright (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc, Vinho Verde) are usually best when served cool, whereas light, young red wines (e.g. Beaujolais, Valpolicella) or more complex whites (e.g. Chardonnay, Riesling) benefit from being served a bit warmer; dark, rich, full-bodied reds (e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah) are best at just below room temperature. Sparkling wines such as Champagne, Lambrusco, and Prosecco are best when chilled. Recommended serving temperature ranges for different types of wine are as follows:

  • Sparkling wines: 40–45° F
  • Sweet wines: 42–46° F
  • Dry white wines and rosé: 45–55° F
  • Lighter-bodied red wines: 50–60° F
  • Medium- and fuller-bodied red wines and ports: 55–65° F