Wine Serving Temperature Guidelines
|Temp F||Temp C||Notes|
|Red Burgundy, Cabernet|
|Rioja, Pinot Noir|
|Tawny/NV Port, Madeira|
|Ideal storage for all wines|
Having replied to her I thought what I wrote might interest others, so here it is:
To bear in mind:
- Wines will warm up after opening. Chilled whites need to be kept cool, and a red which starts at the right temp will usually be a bit warmer at least. Wines also warm up in the glass.
- In the outside temps we have here in the Languedoc in summer, reds usually need to start a bit cooler than ideal so that most of the bottle is consumed at the ideal temperature. I often put a bottle of red in the fridge for an hour in hot weather for this reason.
- The disadvantage of drinking whites and rosés at their 'ideal' temperature is that you lose aromas - often, aromatic whites come out better when they have warmed up a bit.
- When tasting at the makers', as we found when we went to the Rhône, the whites are often a bit warmer than ideal and the reds a bit cooler.
- There are the same difficulties in restaurants - if they have a reasonable wine list they can't possibly keep all the wines people may choose at ideal serving temperature. You realise after a while why expensive restaurants are so expensive - it takes a lot of organisation, equipment and staff to make sure it's all ideal.
- You will have noticed in your table that there are not many Languedoc or Rhône wines in the list - ideal temperatures for many of the local reds are surprisingly cooler than people may expect.
- On the whole therefore, it is not a bad thing to err on the side of coolness - if nothing else, wait mins and swirl it around and it will warm up nicely.
- Most wine tasting situations are for pleasure, not scientific experiments. I do own a wine thermometer but rarely use it - more enjoyable things to do!
- In the end personal taste is paramount. If you like something, it is OK for you.