Wine Temperature Serving Guide
Serving wine at a particular temperature affects how wine tastes and smells. Too cold and you could miss all those deliciously complex flavours in the Chardonnay. Too warm and you end up smelling old socks in your Barossa Shiraz.
By having a little bit of nerdy knowledge under your belt regarding the ideal temperature at which to serve certain wines, you’ll end up tasting the wine as the lovely and talented winemaker/s who made it intended. It’s a bit like respecting the artist by viewing the artwork under the right light.
The good news is, if you’ve thrown a couple of ice cubes in your Rosé at a summer barbecue, you’re actually all class. Keeping Rose cool is just what the winemaker ordered.
We could get overly complex here as different varieties of whites and reds actually benefit from different temperatures. But we’re not for making things tricky. So we’ve boiled it down to three hard and fast rules of thumb. (Remembering of course that there’s not really any ‘rules’ for wine – just guidelines to help you get the most out it.)
The ideal temperature to serve Sparkling wine is cold: 6 – 11C.
Sparkling wine is made to be served cold as the cool temperature keeps the bubbles fine rather than foamy.
Drink it straight out of the fridge or if you’ve just bought it, cool it down by steeping it in an ice bath for around 30 minutes.
More than any other wine, it’s important to pop the open bottle in an ice bucket (or, more realistically a big bowl or sink filled with ice) or straight back in the fridge until you’ve finished it off.
The ideal temperature to serve White Wine And Rosé is cool: 7 – 13C
In general the average fridge temperature is 4C which is a wee bit icy for most white and pink wines. Ideally, pull the bottle out 10 – 15 minutes before serving or pour into the glass and leave for a few minutes before sipping.
You can leave the bottle out on the table during winter, but in the heat of an Aussie summer it’s best to store it in an ice bucket or the fridge between pours so it doesn’t warm up too much.
The ideal temperature to serve Red Wine is below room temperature: 13 – 18C
Most people think red wine should be served at room temperature, or even slightly ‘warmed’. Actually, a little cooler than room temperature is ideal.
Lighter, fruitier reds (like Pinot Noir and Grenache) can be enjoyed cooler, while richer, more tannic reds (like aged Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon) prefer the higher end of the spectrum (even as high as 20C for some big reds.)
But it’s also fun to see how a wine changes as it warms up ever so slightly. So don’t be afraid to leave it in the glass a a while, or leave the bottle on the table between pours, to experience the changes to the aromas and flavours.
FABULOUS TIP #1 Wine snobs will be far more anxious about temperature than the average drinker. If you have one at your table, simply delegate the task to them! In general, they don’t like their white wines to be too cold or reds to be too hot.
FABULOUS TIP #2 Cheaper, lower quality wines are better off being served at the cooler end of the spectrum. Except for Sparkling Wine where the opposite is true. The better the quality the sparkling, the slightly warmer it should be so it can reveal all it’s fabulous aromas and flavours.