When it comes to serving wine, it is a little more complicated than just opening the bottle and pouring. You should take into consideration things like glassware and temperature, which contribute to the overall experience. Finding the right temperature for the varietal you’re serving doesn’t have to be tricky but is really important!
Too cold and your wine will lose its aroma and flavor, too hot and it’ll taste flat and lifeless.
A common mistake people make when serving red wine, is pouring it at a toasty room temperature. This is actually not the ideal serving temperature for reds. Instead, serve them from 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (depending on the wine).
Need a good rule of thumb? Light red wines like Grenache and Zinfandel should be served cool (from 10-16 degrees) and the fruitier the wine, the warmer you can drink it at. Richer reds like Chianti, Cabernet and Rioja should be served slightly under room temperature (usually between 16 and 20 degrees). High tannin wines will smooth out with higher temperatures but remember it is always easier to warm wine up than cool it down.
When served too cold, red wines will lose most, if not all of their aromas and flavors, making them taste acidic. When served too hot, they’ll taste bland and boring.
White wines should definitely be served chilled (fridge cold – 6-14 degrees). In general, the lighter the wine the colder it should be. Light-bodied white wines should typically be refrigerated for 2-4 hours in order to chill down to 8-9 degrees; this will preserve the freshness and fruitiness of the wine. If you’re in a rush, use the sommelier trick of making an ice bath. Fill your ice bucket halfway with cubes and halfway with ice-cold water. If you’re really in a rush, add a couple handfuls of salt to lower the freezing point of the water so it becomes colder. This process will speed things up to as little as 20 minutes on a room temperature bottle!
Rosé wines, even dry ones, should be served around 7 to 12 degrees to perfectly capture the aromas and flavors. Like with red wines, if you serve these too cold they’ll lose their complexity.
Remember, the temperature is key to fully experience wine. Keep in mind that a wine served cool will warm up in the glass, while a wine served warm will only get warmer. It’s always better to start out a little lower than the target temperature. Always take into account the type of wine you plan on drinking and its characteristics before you chill and serve your wine. If you do this correctly, you should be good to go. Cheers!