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Serving Temperatures for wine

wine wine accessories

Temperature is probably the most crucial factor to appreciate any wine at its optimum best. Glass style & shape, food and environmental conditions all play a part but serve your wine at the wrong temperature and it just will not develop to its true potential.

Generally speaking white wine is served colder than red – there are exceptions of course and it can also be a matter of personal preference. Some love to serve Beaujolais straight from the fridge. It is much easier to bring a cold wine up to the correct drinking temperature (simply hold the bowl in your hand) than chill a warm bottle down. If you do need to rapidly chill a warm wine please do not be tempted to stick the bottle into the freezer – it is very easy to forget and you will end up with expensive alcoholic ice-pops!

To quickly chill a bottle of wine place into an ice bucket with lots of water and ice… the water quickens the thermal transfer than ice alone. A bucket is better equiped than the narrow coolers you often see in restaurant as they allow for a greater amount of ice and water to be used to chill the bottle.

Knowing when your wine is at the correct temperature is often a matter of experience. You can use a wine thermometer with the guide beneath or trust your own palate. A wine served too warm will often taste harsh and acidic. If served too cold a wine can taste dull and insipid. Be wary of restaurants serving overly cold wines as this can be an attempt to mask poor quality or even corked wines.

Wine Temperature Guide

The following guidelines should provide the best starting points for your wines…

Young Whites : 10°-12° C
Mature Whites : 12°-14° C

Young and light Rosé : 10°-12° C
Mature and bodied Rosé : 12°-14° C

Nouveaux Reds : 10°-14° C
Young, light and slightly tannic Reds : 14°-16° C
Mature bodied Reds : 16°-18° C
Aged Reds : 18°-20° C

Sweet and aromatic Sparkling wines : 8° C
Charmat methode Sparkling wines : 8°-10° C

Champagne and vintage Sparkling : 8°-10° C

Sweet wines : 10°-18° C
Fortified wines : 10°-18° C

Each bottle of wine will have it’s own characteristics and you have a unique palate so these guides are just that – guides. Experiment with the temperatures of your wines and you will soon build your own database of service temperatures for your favourite wines. It’s a good an excuse as any to try more wines!

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