To Chill or Not to Chill? … Wine, That Is

Is there a perfect (optimal) serving temperature for wine? Maybe not, but serving temperatures are often overlooked when planning a perfect meal or event. As a general rule of thumb, cooling wines makes them more refreshing but also dulls the aroma. In the hot weather, particularly if you are sipping outdoors on the patio, you may want to sacrifice maximum flavour for the refreshing quality of a fully chilled white wine and a lightly chilled red.

chilling wine

White Wines
White wines are often served too cold, which can make them seem less aromatic and more acidic. Typically, more complex white wine such as barrel-fermented Chardonnay should be served slightly warmer (10-13°C). Lighter-bodied and neutral white wines, such as Riesling and Pinot Blanc benefit from more of a chill (7-10°C).

Refrigerators are commonly set to 4 to 5°C, so a good rule is to remove white wines from the fridge around 15-20 minutes before serving.

Red Wines
With the advent of state-of-the-art heating and insulation systems, room temperature has increased. In turn, red wines are often served slightly too warm which can make them seem flabby and less fresh.

Lighter reds are refreshing when served between 10-13°C and medium-bodied red wines are appropriately served between 13-16°C. Serving bigger, bolder and more tannic red wines too chilled will make them more astringent and bitter, so serving slightly below room temperature at 16-18°C is recommended.

Placing most red wines in the fridge 15-20 minutes prior to serving will benefit the wine and the drinker. Of course, if you like your wine warmer or colder, you should not forsake what you enjoy – after all, you paid for it and you are consuming it! Cheers!