How Low Can You Go? The Perfect Wine Tasting Temperature
What’s The Perfect Wine Tasting Temperature?
Like most questions in life, the answer to this isn’t so simple. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of tricks, hacks, rules of thumb and whatnot that can make serving and tasting wine simple and effortless. However, just as no two varietals of wine are the same, there isn’t a true one-size-fits-all temperature for reds and whites.
I was inspired to tackle this after a question I received on my Facebook page in response to my Monte Purple Angel review post. I was asked whether I served the wine at room temperature or chilled. And my answer was actually a bit of both! Now, even though there are proper serving temperatures for various types of wines, ultimately what you decide to drink your own at is entirely up to you. If you can’t wait to chill that bottle of Champagne you picked up to congratulate your honey on his promotion, pop away! If you’re like my parents and love to keep boxed Merlot in the fridge, do your thing! But keep in mind, if you haven’t experimented with proper wine tasting temperatures, you may be missing out.
Why Wine Tasting Temperature Is Important
Wine tasting temperature is important because it can drastically change both the aromas and flavors of a wine. Serve a wine too cold and it becomes closed – the aromas barely escape from the glass while the flavors may taste bitter or muted. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a warm wine may begin to expose its flaws in the form of high acidity or alcohol, unpleasant flavors and “off” textures.
Now, if you’re going to take away one thing, and one thing only from this article today – it should be this: 55°F. This is perfect cellar temperature. If you have a wine cellar or cooler – great! Make sure you have it set at or near this for ageing and chilling your wines at the perfect temperature. If you do not have one – well, this is the magic number to aim for if you do not want to fuss with all the details I am about to get into. Scroll down to the bottom for easy hacks on how to achieve this perfect temperature. Or read my tips. I guarantee it’ll make for a better drinking experience!
White & Rosé Wine Tasting Temperature Guide
Sparkling & Ice Wines – Optimal, 46°F
- Moscato d’Asti – 41 to 45°F
- Ice Wine – 43°F
- Rosé – 45°F
- Cava – 46°F
- Prosecco – 47°F
- Champagne – 45 to 48°F
Light Bodied Wines – Optimal, 48°F
- Light Rosé – 45°F
- Moscato – 45°F
- Sauvignon Blanc – 47°F
- Sancerre – 47°F
- Verdejo – 47°F
- Viognier – 47°F
- Pinot Grigio, Gris – 48°F
- Chenin Blanc – 48°F
- Gewürztraminer – 48°F
- Unoaked Chardonnay – 48°F
- Riesling – 47 to 50°F
Full Bodied Wines – Optimal, 52°F
- Chablis – 50°F
- Sémillon – 50°F
- Oaked Chardonnay – 52°F
- Sauternes – 52°F
- Viognier – 53°F
- Montrachet – 55°F
- Deep Rosé – 55°F
Red Wine Tasting Temperature Guide
Light & Medium Bodied Wines – Optimal, 57°F
- Beaujolais – 55°F
- Gamay – 55°F
- Pinot Noir – 56°F
- Tawny Port – 57°F
- Madeira – 57°F
- Barbera – 58°F
- Chianti – 59°F
- Valpolicella – 59°F
- Nero D’Avola – 59°F
- Montepulciano – 59°F
- Grenache, Garnacha – 60°F
Medium(+) & Full Bodied Wines – Optimal, 62°F
- Zinfandel – 59°F
- Barolo – 60°F
- Nebbiolo – 60°F
- Carménère – 60°F
- Malbec – 61°F
- Merlot – 62°F
- Burgundy – 63°F
- Cabernet (Sauvignon, Franc) – 63°F
- Rioja – 63°F
- Tempranillo – 63°F
- Bordeaux – 64°F
- Syrah, Shiraz – 65°F
- Vintage Port – 66°F
Tasting Temperature Hacks
- Believe it or not, the fastest way to chill a wine is not by placing it directly on ice, or even in the freezer! Fill a container with water and ice, since water regulates and distributes temperature more evenly than ice. You can use any container, or step up your presentation with a wine bucket like the ones sold here on Amazon.
- Invest in a thermometer to make your life easy. I have a $3.99 meat thermometer that begins right at 0°F that I bought at my local grocer. Obviously, you would want to buy one just for wine purposes and not mix it with your questionably cooked meat. You can certainly get fancy and buy one of the many other types they have on the market specifically for wine, and they fit all budgets. Find them here!
- Make note of what your room temperature is at home – in the cooler months you may have the perfect temperature to keep your full bodied reds out on the counter and ready to drink, without having to check the temp at all!
- Don’t want to fuss with all the above mentioned temperatures, or bother with thermometer? I don’t blame you! Most of the time I just want to dive right into my wine, without a care. But I still have a few suggestions for you, if you are looking to quickly chill, or want to let something warm up a bit.
- For a light bodied white that needs to be very cold (or if you are really impatient for anything else), pop the bottle into the freezer or an ice bath for 10-15 minutes. Remember to set your kitchem timer so you don’t forget!
- For a full bodied white or light bodied red, to the fridge it goes for the same amount of time.
- If you store your wines at cellar temperature and need to warm up a medium or full bodied red, pour yourself a glass and let the wine sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes, depending on the wine. A medium body should sit for 10-15 minutes, while the fuller body needs 15-20 minutes.
- If you keep everything at room temperature, try popping the full bodied wines into the fridge after you pour a glass for 5-10 minutes.
- However, the most important tip of all is this – drink what you like, however you like drinking it!
What are your wine tasting temperature preferences, tips and tricks? Leave a comment below!
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