Have you ever served a white wine straight out of the fridge, served a red wine at ‘room temperature’, or opened a sparkling wine and watch it foam over the top?
As a rule, white wines tend to be served too cold, subduing aromas and flavours. It’s especially noticeable with full-bodied white wines like French Burgundies or New World Chardonnay.
Sparkling wines are the exception here, in that they should be served well chilled in order to preserve their effervescence.
Reds are more often served on the warm side, making them seem unbalanced. When you've heard people talk about serving red wines at ‘room temperature’ that really means the ambient temperatures of a French château or Italian cantina, not our cozy, centrally-heated homes.
Here’s a quick guide to ideal serving temperatures:
- Medium to full-bodied red wines: 15 - 18 °C (bottle feels cool to the touch)
- Full-bodied white wines: 13 - 15 °C (lightly chilled, out of fridge for 30mins)
- Light-bodied reds/light-medium white/rosé: 10 - 13 °C (chilled, but not ice cold)
- Sparkling wines/dessert wines: 5 - 8 °C (well chilled, just out of the fridge)