The Ideal Serving Temperatures For Every Wine

Even those with only a beginner's worth of knowledge about wine know that it can be quite temperamental — you know, a little diva-ish.

Aside from the great many processes that must be accounted for and managed on the vineyard in order to make great wine, once in the bottle, there is no shortage of needs that must be tended to to ensure it maintains its quality. Store this type of wine in that kind of environment, and that type of wine in a place set to these specifications. Oh, and make sure the bottle is placed on its side, not standing upright. It's a lot to keep track of, but it's not for nothing.   

Equally as important as the conditions in which a wine is stored is the temperature of the drink when it is served. Most red wines, for example, are best enjoyed at about 62 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit, what many would consider to be on the cooler end of room temperature. Stray from that zone too far in either direction and you'll find yourself in a bit of a Goldilocks situation — when it's too warm, the alcohol in red wine can be overly accentuated; too cold and the wine risks tasting too tannic and acidic. 

Think you've got your bases covered because you know that white wine is best served chilled? Not so fast. If the wine is too cold, its flavor and characteristics will be dulled — especially if it's a higher quality white.

Of course opinions will vary when it comes to a subject like this, but for those looking for general guidelines, the following information should come in handy. You can invest in a digital or regular wine thermometer to help give you a more precise reading, but it's worth it to practice feeling the bottle so that eventually you're able to instinctively gauge if the temperature is correct.

Click for the Ideal Serving Temperatures for Every Wine Slideshow.

Wine Serving Temperature Cheat Sheet

Sparkling wine: Around 45 degrees Fahrenheit for most, but aged vintages should be about 50 to 52 degrees.

Rosés and blush wines: Between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Simple, inexpensive whites: Between 48 and 53 degrees Fahrenheit.

Good bottle of aged white wine: Better quality whites don't need to be served quite as cold, between 58 and 62 degrees.

Light red wines: Fruitier, lighter-bodied reds like Beaujolais should be served between 57 and 60 degrees.

Most red wines: Between 62 and 65 degrees; some better quality, big reds can be served up to 68 degrees but never go over 70.

Dessert wines: Between 45 and 50 degrees, but a good Sauternes should be served slightly warmer, about 58 degrees.

Fortified wines: Some fortified wines like Port and most Sherries should be served between 62 and 65 degrees, but a fino Sherry should be served at about 55 degrees.


For a cool visual aid, check out Snooth's Infographic.