Wine temperatures and wine cooling for beginners

View of bottles of white wine laid down on a rack in a cellar.
View of bottles of white wine laid down on a rack in a cellar.

Any wine connoisseur will tell you that there are many factors that can influence the flavor and aroma of wine, ranging from the shape of the glass to the serving temperature. The latter has more of an impact than you can imagine, so learning how to store and properly serve wine is a must for full enjoyment of the beverage.

This might sound complicated, but it truly is not. There are only three general rules to keep in mind when it comes to the temperature of the wine. Keep on reading to discover how easy it is to obtain the best flavor out of your favorite drink.

#1 Store wine at temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit

Regardless of what type of wine you are looking to serve with your meal, we recommend keeping your bottle cool at around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature was called the closest to perfection for keeping wine in peak condition.

Both freezing and warm temperatures can have a negative effect on the taste of the wine, so it’s best not to take any risks. If you do not have a wine cellar to keep your bottles cool, then setting your refrigerator or wine chiller at these temperatures is the next best thing.

Note: Wine suffers the most damage when it undergoes a temperature shock, so it’s best not to change its location unless it is ready to serve.

#2 Serve white wine chilled

Wine scientists determined that in order to enjoy the flavors of a white wine, it is best to serve it chilled. You can either take out the bottle at the time of the serving or keep it chilled in a bucket with ice and cold water. Special chillers like the Corkcicle Wine Chiller can help too! Vintners recommend keeping it chilled for 30 minutes before serving.

#3 Serve red wine at room temperature

While red wines are stored at the same temperature as whites, they are better served at room temperature. Remove it from the refrigerator or from your cellar 5 minutes before you intend to serve it, and decant the wine to allow it to breathe.

Note: Keep in mind that even though it is called “room temperature,” this term does not mean the ambient temperature in the room you are serving the wine. Not even full-bodied reds are served at a higher temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit, so do not let your wine get too warm.

Knowing these three temperature guidelines will help you achieve the intended flavor profile of any wine. However, if you want to reach the wine’s optimal temperature to a tee, you can get a wine thermometer. Here is a list of the best temperatures for each type of wine:

  • Sparkling wine – 45-48˚F;
  • Light White Wines – 45-50˚F;
  • Rosé Wines – 50˚F;
  • Full-Bodied White Wines – 50-55˚F;
  • Light Red Wines – 55-60˚F;
  • Full-Bodied Red Wines – 60-65˚F.

Try out these guidelines and see for yourself how delicious each type of wine is at its required temperature. However, feel free to experiment as well! Even knowledgeable sommeliers prefer their reds chilled, so do not be afraid to find the right temperature for you!

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