The Serving Temperature of Wine

When you drink a glass of wine, it can heat up quickly, too quickly. This depends on the thickness of the glass, the temperature of the environment and the way you hold the glass. The more sophisticated white wines usually allow for higher serving temperatures, and (on the contrary) the cheaper red wines with lots of tannin can be served warmer than good reds with little or no tannin.
Generally speaking though, it’s better to serve your wine a little too cold. This is because wine warms up when you hold the glass in your hand, and warm wines give off more alcohol in the taste and smell of the wine.

White wine

White wines need to be served cold, but not refrigerator cold, just a bit warmer.

  • Fruity and fresh, semi-dry wines: 44-48 °F
  • Champagne and other sparkling whites: 46-50 °F
  • Light and fruity dry whites: 46-50 °F
  • Rich and aromatic dry wines: 50-54 °F
  • Very full, complex, dry wines: 54 °F
  • Sweet white wines: 50-54 °F

Red wines

Red wines generally need to be served warmer.

  • Fresh, fruity and light wines: 57-61 °F
  • Full and spicy wines: 61-64 °F
  • Powerful, robust reds: 61-64 °F
  • Lush, sweet red wines: 61-64 °F

Cooling Time

Depending on your refrigerator, these are the temperatures you will reach.

  • 4 hour cooling: 44 °F
  • 3 hour cooling: 46-50 °F
  • 2 hour cooling: 50-54 °F
  • 1.5 hour cooling: 54 °F
  • 1 hour cooling: 57-61 °F

How to Cool

If you need to cool your wines rapidly, you can use a refrigerator or a cooling bucket. For best effects, the bucket should be at least as deep as the whole bottle (neck included). And here’s a tip: add water in the bucket, this works better and longer than if you fill it with ice only.

However, the options above only allow for quick and sub-optimal cooling, as you can’t set the exact temperature. For the best possible tasting experience we sincerely advice you to visit a good wine cooler website and select a wine fridge for your home. They come in all sizes, and you can have a dozen wines stored at the exact right temperature for less than 100 dollars.