Serving Wines at the Perfect Temperatures

Posted on March 14, 2014


Serving Wines

Most wine connoisseurs will tell you that there are a multitude of factors to consider when deciding if a wine is acceptable. Conditions like region, year, additives, weather, even the glassware you use. All of these things give a bottle of wine the particular taste is having. What many do not realize is that the temperature is also a major contributor to the taste you associate with your wine selection. This article is going to explore the proper temperatures that your favorite wine should be served at so you can have a better drinking experience and get the most out of every bottle.

For those light, dry whites, roses, and sparkling wines, it is important to keep them at a cool 40-50 degrees. When you go to a restaurant and order a bottle of pinot grigio or champagne, you’ll notice that the server will place your bottle in a wine bucket filled with ice and water. It is important that the bucket not be completely full of ice as that can make the wine too cold and thus soften that bright citrus and floral notes. This is the preferred method for most white-dessert wines like muscat and the expensive, but utterly decadent, French Sauternes purchased from a New Orleans wine bar. Most dessert wines have a strong sweetness and slightly higher alcoholic content and keeping them cool will keep from ruining the sweetness and keep some acidity.

For fuller bodied whites and light, fruity reds, it is recommended that those wines be served between 50-60 degrees. These are the types of great wines served at big events, such as those put on by Charleston SC Catering specialists, Holy City Catering. There is a lot of debate whether red wines ever need to be chilled, but most agree that they do not have to be chilly. You just want the wine to be slightly cooler than normal. If you have a wine drawer or portion of your refrigerator, you can set the temperature, so you don’t even have to worry. A delicious chardonnay or Gewurztraminer will remain nice and refreshing as long as it doesn’t taste like it’s been freezing. You’ll lose all those wonderful fruity and smooth flavors if the wine becomes too cold.

For those full-bodied reds and ports, they should be served at room temperature or slightly below (60-65 degrees). Now, does this mean that you should keep these types of wines in the kitchen near a bright light or window? No, too much exposure to light or a range of temperatures will slowly break down the flavors in your wine and give it a slightly stale taste once opened. Keep your wines in a dark, cool area like a cellar or closet to save it from overexposure.

Wine is meant to be enjoyed, and by following the serving guidelines, you can perfect every delicious drop from your bottle.

This post was written by M.G. Bachemin in association with Pearl Wine Co. in New Orleans, LA. For more information about wine and how to handle different varieties, visit

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