Wine Temperatures

The optimal temperatures for serving wines is available everywhere; you can find them on napkins, tea towels and on any number of wine apps.

So, whilst we’ve included the obligatory table (see below), here are some salient words of wisdom on temperature and why it really does matter.

Serve a wine overly cool and you’ll deny yourself some - if not all - of the wine’s aromas which are one of the greatest pleasures of wine drinking.

When wines are too cold you’ll also be much more aware of acidity and tannins and whilst they’re essential components you’ll be highlighting them at the expense of the fruit. In other words, you’re throwing the wine out of balance.

It’s certain that when people began talking about ‘serving wine at room temperature’ we weren’t living in the super cosy, sometimes triple glazed, centrally heated houses that many of us live in now. Serve a wine at today’s room temperature and the chances are it’ll be too warm. Fuller bodied wines can perhaps take it but lighter wines will struggle.

White Wine

The fridge is sometimes the enemy of white wine. So many of us leave our whites in the fridge for far too long and effectively chill the flavour right out of them. Champagnes and sweet wines will certainly be grateful for an afternoon in the fridge but a fuller bodied dry white will want out after an hour.

Red Wine

You may be surprised to know that some red wines (the lighter, less tannin wines) - given the average temperature of our homes today - will show all the better a quick chill in the fridge. No more than an hour mind!

Many wine gadgets are unnecessary (and expensive) but a wine thermometer is useful to have.

Suggested Serving Temperatures

  • Champagne & Sparkling: 6°C - 10°C
  • Aromatic, lighter, dry white wines: 8°C - 12°C
  • Medium bodied dry white wines: 10°C - 12°C
  • Full-bodied dry white wines: 12°C - 13°C
  • Lighter-bodied sweet white wines: 5°C - 10°
  • Fuller-bodied sweet white wines: 8°C - 12°C
  • Light to medium-bodied reds: 12°C - 17°C
  • Fuller-bodied red wines: 14°C - 18°C
  • White Port & FIno Sherry: 8°C - 10°C
  • Amontillado & Oloroso Sherry: 15°C - 17°C
  • Vintage Port: 17°C - 19°C
  • Tawny / Non Vintage Port: 14°C - 15°C