What is the right temperature to serve a wine?

Too hot or too cold will quash aromas and nuances

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Temperature is one of the most important aspects to consider when tasting a wine. Bearing in mind that wine is fermented grape juice or rather, fruit, a cool temperature will be more pleasant in the mouth. However, too often do we follow the time honoured cliché that white wine should be served cold and red wine at room temperature. The result is usually either white wine that is too cold or red wine that is too warm.

The conventional idea of “room temperature” was coined in France centuries ago, when houses had no heating and bottles were stored in the cellar. When a wine was brought up from the cellar, it was then left to for a certain amount of time in the room where it would be drunk, usually around 16ºC-18ºC or 61ºF-64ºF. Wine was to be served at that room temperature. Nowadays, houses and restaurants have heating and therefore serving at “room temperature” has become meaningless.

It must be noted that a wine at too high a temperature will make it impossible for the drinker to garner all its aromas, for the alcohol volatility will swamp the palate. On the other hand, when a wine is served at too low a temperature, the aromas will be weaker and less eloquent. That is why it is so important to serve the wine at the right temperature. But exactly what is the right temperature for each wine?

As a general rule, white wines should be served colder than red wines, and old ones warmer than young ones. Nevertheless, one must also pay attention to the external environment and the time of the year. The following could be used as a guide as to how to serve different types of wine:

Sweet wine: 6ºC – 8ºC or 43ºF – 46ºF
Fino and Manzanilla Sherry: 6ºC – 7ºC or 43ºF – 45ºF
Brut Cava and Champagne: 6ºC – 7ºC or 43ºF – 45ºF
Champagne Rosé: 7ºC – 11ºC or 45ºF – 52ºF
Dry Liqueur Wine: 5ºC – 8ºC or 41ºC – 46ºF
Young Dry White Wine: 7oC – 10oC or 45oF – 50oF
Aged Dry White Wine: 7ºC – 12ºC or 45ºF – 54ºF
Rosé and Claret: 6ºC – 10ºC or 43ºF – 50ºF
Light Young Red Wine: 10ºC – 12ºC or 50ºF – 54ºF
Full-bodied Young Red Wine: 12ºC – 14ºC or 54ºF – 57ºF
Full-bodied Reserva Red Wine: 15ºC – 17ºC or 59ºF – 63ºF
Old Red Wine: 17oC – 18ºC or 63ºF – 64ºF
Port Wine: 12ºC – 16ºC or 54ºF – 61ºF
Madeira Wine: 13ºC – 14ºC or 55ºF – 57ºF
Oloroso Wine: 14ºC – 17ºC or 57ºF – 63ºC
Amontillado Wine: 14ºC – 15ºC or 57ºF to 59ºF

It is important to keep in mind that recommended temperatures are not to be taken as a strict rule. Each wine and each drinker are entirely different, therefore the best thing to do is to taste and adapt the temperature according to the individual’s palate. When serving our wines, we recommend the following temperatures. However, it is ultimately up to each person to decide the right one depending on their personal tastes: 

Chardonnay: 10ºC – 12ºC or 50ºF – 54ºF
MV: 16ºC or 61ºF
Cabernet Sauvignon: 15ºC – 17ºC or 59ºF – 63ºF
Syrah: 16ºC or 61ºF
Petit Verdot: 15ºC – 16ºC or 59ºF – 61ºF
Colección Privada: 16ºC or 61ºF


To learn more:

Wine Serving Temperature

I Got The Right Temperature For Your Wine 

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