What temperature should you serve wine at?

The traditional advice is that you should serve your white wines chilled and your. red wines at room temperature. Unfortunately, that’s not all there is to it.

Let’s consider red wines first.

What temperature should you serve red wine at?

As it happens, I have before me three recently emptied red wine bottles: one is a Spanish Valdepeñas Reserva made from the Tempranillo grape, the second is also a Spanish Reserva, a Navarra made from a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Graciano and garnacha grapes, and the third a Syrah from Chile.

On looking at the back labels, the first suggests that it should be drunk at between 16 and 18 degrees centigrade, the second at room temperature, and the third at 20 degrees. Between the three, they offer a broad range of choice.

Indeed, what does room temperature mean? This varies considerably from season to season. At the height of summer, I regularly might drink a bottle of a light, fruity wine, such as a Beaujolais, chilled. Similarly, I prefer my red Burgundies to be cool, at about 12 degrees.

If you have wine glasses with a generous bowl, it is always possible to warm the wine slightly by cupping the glass in your two hands.

What temperature should you serve white wine at?

With white wines, I would serve a wine with more acidit, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling, cooler than I would a Chardonnay, and an unoaked wine cooler than one that has had some barrel aging.

With rich fortified wines such as a Pedro Ximenez or a Rutherglen Muscat, I will often put the bottle in the freezer for thirty minutes or so before serving.

However, all this is my personal taste. The best thing is to experiment and develop your own taste. However, the more expensive the bottle, the less risk you should take! If all else fails, read the back-label and invest in a wine thermometer.

Summary: Is there a right temperature to serve wine at?

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to the temperature to serve wines. Yes, there are pieces of advice and recommendations, but personal preference is the most important!

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