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Chilled Whites Or Warm Reds? Serve Your Wines At These Temperatures


Chilled Whites Or Warm Reds? Serve Your Wines At These Temperatures

Have you been drinking wine straight off the shelves? Or grabbing bottles at random from your refrigerator? Stop now! Each wine has an optimum temperature at which it tastes best, when the true aroma and flavors come out, in all their glory. Don’t panic, just read our quick guide to wine serving temperatures and impress all those future house guests.

Red Wine

You thought you had red wine all figured out but ‘serve at room temperature’ is a common misconception. The ideal serving temperature for a red wine is between 10 to 18 °C. These temperatures are warmer compared to the serving temperature of other wines as it brings out the complex flavors and desirable tannins in a red wine.

White Wine

White wines are best served between 7 to 12°C to enjoy their pristine notes – fresh acidity and fruity flavours. Never serve a white wine warm, as it suppresses most of the lively flavour compounds of the wine which makes it taste flabby. No one wants that!

Rosé Wine

Rosé wine should be served between 9 to 12°C. This assists in revealing the delicate red fruit aromas and provides a refreshing impact on the palate.

Sweet Wine

The best temperature for serving sweet wines is between 6 to 8°C. The low temperature counteracts the element of sweetness and helps the wine in revealing its true character, as opposed to having a cloyed impact on the palate. Some sweet wines like Port and Madeira should be served at slightly higher temperatures (8 to 12°C) to enjoy the savoury notes.

Sparkling Wine

Ice cold temperatures are a bit extreme, but a sparkling wine should be served at low temperatures ranging from 5 to 10°C. This helps retain the fine bubbles in the glass and results in crispier acidity and bountiful supply of flavours. After serving, the bottle must be kept in an ice bucket to maintain the temperature.

If you have a wine refrigerator, you’re golden. If not, we have some hacks for you to get them at the right temperature:

  1. If you have stored a bottle of wine in a normal refrigerator, decant (pour) it into a wider container before serving. The surface area of wine is larger in a container and it comes in contact with the room temperature. This helps in achieving the correct temperatures quickly, but don’t keep it for too long or the wine might start tasting flabby. Only aged worthy wines that are meant to be opened after many years of bottle ageing can be kept in the decanter for a few hours.
  2. Sometimes when the wine is served cold in a glass, you can cup the bowl of the wine glass with your hand and transfer the warmth from your body to enjoy tasting it at the right temperature.
  3. If a wine has been stored in a cabinet, chances are it’ll seem extra warm. In this case, keep the bottle in an ice bucket mixed with some water to cool it faster. Generally, red wines should be kept for about 15 minutes and Champagne for a little over half an hour.

A wine can be kept in an air-conditioned room (20°C) for four hours, if the room temperature is not the desired temperature for the wine.

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