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The Best Serving Temperature for Your Wine


When it comes to serving wine, there can be a lot of confusion about whether you should or should not chill your wine. The answer is almost always YES. There are many benefits to chilling, or serving your wine at its ideal temperature. Even wines that are meant to be served “room temperature” could benefit from a few minutes in your refrigerator or cooler. The term “room temperature” in the world of wine often refers to the temperature of the cellar (usually around 60-65°F) and not the home average (around 70 -73°F). To ensure you are getting the most from your favorite bottle, we have put together a list of wines and their ideal serving temperatures.

Light Bodied Whites

Ex: Riesling, Albariño, Sauvignon Blanc, etc.

With a crisp, younger wine you’re looking to enhance the refreshing qualities and acidity that make them perfect for summer.

Best served temperature: 45 - 50°F.
Chill time: 1 - 2 hours

Full Bodied Whites

Ex: Oaked Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne, etc.

When serving a more matured style of wine, you don’t want to take away from its complexity and delicious aromas by over chilling.

Best served temperature: 55 - 60°F
Chill timer: 45 - 55 minutes

Light Bodied Reds

Ex: Pinot Noir, Meritage, Cabernet Franc, etc.

The reds don’t require as much time in the cooler to highlight their delightful earthy and fruit notes. If over chilled you can end up with something a little more acidic. If this happens, an easy fix is to pour a glass and heat up the wine with the heat from your hands.

Best served temperature: 55 - 60°F
Chill time: 35 - 40 minutes

Full Bodied Reds

Ex: Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, etc.

It might feel unnatural to chill your bold reds, however, it is recommended that you serve your reds at 60-65°F. This helps to round off the tannins, can create a silkier mouthfeel, and heighten the bouquet.

Best served temperature: 60 - 65°F
Chill time: 30 minutes

Sparkling Wine and Champagne

Much like the light bodied white wines, the colder the better! The cooler temperatures will make for a crispy, bright, and refreshing drink.

Best served temperature: 45 - 50 °F
Chill time: 1- 2 hours

Fortified Wines

Ex: Port and Sherry

Port and sherry are best served just below room temperature. Because both are rich and bold in flavor, you will want to be careful about over-chilling. Doing so might dampen the complexity of both wines.

TIP: Serve your white wines immediately after chilling. You will still want to decant your reds or let them breathe before serving.

Warm, cold, and everything in between, there are many ways to enjoy your wine. Have fun experimenting with your favorites at different temperatures. You may be surprised by the results. Cheers from St. Julian Winery!