What to Know About Wine Temperatures

The scene is almost always the same, you walk into a restaurant bar and you see a lineup of wine bottles with the corks in them.

The French have always said that Americans drink their red wines too warm and their white wines too cold.

What happens to red wine when it is too warm?

Contrary to popular custom, red wine should not be enjoyed at room temperature. At room temperature the wines can become soupy or syrupy. Also the alcohol will feel out of balance so the structure and freshness will be lost. Generally, the rule is “The lighter the wine, the cooler it should be enjoyed.”

  • Light, fruity reds: Aim for around 54 – 56 degrees Fahrenheit 
Beaujolais/Valpolicella/Pinot Noir
  • Medium-bodied reds: Serve between 56 – 60 degrees Fahrenheit
Grenache/Sangiovese/Sonoma Pinot Noir/Cab Franc
  • Full-bodied reds: Serve between 61 – 65 degrees Fahrenheit
Cabernet/Shiraz

How do you get the wine to the correct temperature?

The easiest way to get your wine to the right temperature is a wine refrigerator, which is temperature regulated. If you don’t have one, just throw it in your refrigerator. It takes about 2.5 hours for a red wine to get from room temp to 55 degrees in a refrigerator. If you want to fast track it, throw it in your freezer for 40 minutes. Try not to forget it’s in their or you will get a wine popsicle. Wine generally does not like extreme temps. The wine should be about 45 degrees if you leave it in the refrigerator for an extended period of time.

See the chart below for temperature times!

I won’t go into white wines as people usually drink them chilled. However, if the white wine is too cold, all you will taste is alcohol, no fruit, no secondary characteristics or sweetness.

See the chart above for correct serving temps.

If you are interested in enjoying some wine and finding exactly what temperature is best for you, take a look at our current wine offerings by clicking here.