The serving temperature of wine is much more important than many people seem to believe. Temperature is vital to release the flavours and aromas of the wine you are drinking. The wrong temperature can limit or distort the flavours and aromas, resulting in a less than optimal experience.
Each wine has an ideal serving temperature but to give you an idea, we have broken wines down into four categories. Please bear in mind these temperatures are only suggestions. Wine is a very subjective topic and everyone's palates are different. So, if you find that you prefer wine served at a temperature other than what we suggest here, that is perfectly fine!
Bubbly is best served as cold as possible, usually 4°C to 10°C. Put it in the freezer for an hour before serving but don't forget it in there! The result will be explosive. An alternative to the freezer would be placing the bottle in an ice bucket for approximately half an hour. After pouring the first glasses, place the open bottle back on ice until finished.
White wines and rosés
White wines and rosés are best served between 10°C and 15°C. The easy way to ensure the wine is in the optimal range is to store it in the fridge after buying it. If it is room temperature and you want to drink the wine the same day, leave it in the fridge for a number of hours or place it in the freezer for about half an hour. After opening the wine and pouring the first glasses, set the bottle on the table. As the wine warms up, the aromas and flavour will change slightly.
Full-bodied whites and light-bodied reds
Full-bodied whites and light-bodied reds are best served between 10°C and 16°C. They are best served chilled rather than cold as that allows their aromas to blossom. Serving these wines too cold will mask their flavours. A good example is Pinot Noir, which needs to be served slightly cooler than other reds so as to allow the complexity of its flavours to be fully appreciated.
Medium to full-bodied red wines
Medium to full-bodied reds are best served between 16°C and 20°C but a good rule of thumb is that the tannin level should dictate the serving temperature. More tannic wine should be served warmer than lower tannin reds. However, do not be tempted to serve it too warm or you will have a soupy, alcoholic beverage.
A red wine fail-safe is to always serve it a few degrees cooler than room temperature and then let the wine stand at room temperature for about half an hour. This allows the release of aromas as the wine warms up.
Whichever wines you will be enjoying this week, test these serving temperatures yourselves and decide if they work for you.