Drinking wine is about experimenting, discovering grapes, regions, and simply just savoring the taste!
However, when it comes to wine temperature, and especially serving wines at room temperature, there are some golden rules to follow to make sure you get the best out of your purchase …or in some cases investment.
Whether you’re drinking at home or whether you’re in the hospitality industry, storing and serving wine at the correct temperature can be crucial.
Which wines should be served at room temperature? More mature red wines such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Bordeaux, and some fortified whites are better served between 60°F and 68°F, room temperature. Lighter reds are best at cooler room temperature (between 63°F and 67°F) treat each wine individually on the producer’s recommendations.
Ok so with the quick answer in place, so that we can more easily understand wines and which ones should be stored at room temperature let’s start by looking at what room temperature actually is.
What is room temperature for wine?
As far as the correct room temperature is for serving wine, there can be a few different ideas of what exactly room temperature is.
So although it’s so far, not an exact science …there are some guidelines to follow to make sure you’re serving wine at room temperature.
It’s also worth understanding that room temperature was a measurement devised well before we had centrally heated homes, and heated event halls, bars, and function rooms!
The original room temperature most likely originated in chilly French medieval rooms, where the temperatures may have only ranged between 57°F and 59°F.
The Room temperature we have today with our warm modern homes is usually around 70°F, but room temperature concerning the temperature wine is drunk can be anywhere between 60°F and 68°F.
Cooler room temperature
Some wines benefit from being served at a slightly cooler room temperature. This is around 63°F to 67°F.
These wines are usually less matured and are lighter in the red range and include port and Madeira fortified wines in the white range.
Why should I serve wine at room temperature?
Although there is no one defined rule which states wines that have to be served at certain temperatures, whether that be room temperature, chilled, or any other, there are guidelines to help you enjoy wine at its optimum.
This is because wine is very complex, with delicate aroma and flavors which blend together to create its unique experience.
Temperature plays a huge part in our experience of these compounds, as heat and cold greatly influence the way you perceive flavors on your tongue.
Wine served too warm
Heat is enemy number one for wine. Temperatures higher than 70°F will age a wine quickly.
If it’s served too warm rather than at an ambient room temperature, you may find wine has almost a ‘cooked’ flavor and aroma.
Also when thinking about wines that are served at room temperature, keep in mind that a wine served cool will warm up in the glass, while a wine served warm will only get warmer
Make sure you treat each wine individually
So although room temperature is a “one size fits all” guide, experts do advise that you treat each wine individually if you really want to get the best out of your wines.
Do I need to drink red wine at room temperature?
Most red wines can tend to taste a little “flat” if served cooler compared with when they are served at room temperature.
The main reason for this is because if they are served too cold, the low temperatures bring out the flavors of the oak and tannins rather than the fruit.
So rather than getting the full rounded taste of the grapes and the hint of sweetness, red wine can tend to taste more bitter if served too cold.
So serving at room temperature hugely influenced the two main drivers of taste when drinking not just red wine, but all wines, which is sweetness and acidity.
Most red wines are best served at room temperature between 60°F and 65°F, but as we mentioned previously, although this is a general guide, it’s best to treat each wine individually and check the best temperature for each variety.
To cool lighter red wines when it’s warm outside, put them in the fridge for 30 minutes before drinking.
This small time in the refrigerator makes a huge difference in the taste of the wine.
Interestingly many wine connoisseurs think that Americans, in particular, tend to drink our whites too cold and our reds too warm.
So let’s take a look at some popular reds that would benefit from being served at room temperature to see if we can make a better choice.
Red wines to drink at room temperature:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Rioja Crianza
- Gran Reserva
“If red wine is served too cold, the low temperatures bring out the flavors of the oak and tannins rather than the fruit”.
One of the main differences between white and red wines is that reds contain more tannins than whites which has a major influence on each wine’s taste profiles.
This is why most people in the know, such as wine merchants, those in hospitality industries such as hoteliers and restaurant owners recommend serving red wines at room temperatures.
Alongside the fact that most bottles have a recommendation for serving temperature.
Let’s take a look at some lighter reds and see if they should still be served at room temperature.
Temperatures for lighter red wines
- Pinot noir
- St Laurent
- Valpolicella Classico
Lighter red wines often benefit not only from being served at a slightly cooler room temperature (between 63°F and 67°F) but some have their optimum taste at temperatures slightly chilled (around 59°F) for reds such as St. Laurent, Zweigelt, and the younger Beaujolais.
Red wine with higher acidity, like Loire Valley Cabernet Franc, prefers lower temps, so will be perfect if placed in a refrigerator for 90 minutes.
Although we’ve got the lowdown now on which red wines benefit from being served at room temperature we can discover a little more about which white wines need to be served at room temperature
White wines served at room temperature
As we mentioned previously, although most white wines are usually best served cool or chilled, there are some which benefit from being served around room temperature.
The following wines are usually the fortified kinds such as
And before you go….
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Our 2-Bottle wine dispenser is perfect for home use and will keep your opened bottle fresh and in perfect condition for up to 30+ days.
It has an innovative dual refrigeration system that will allow you to have both your favorite oaky red served at room temperature and also a bottle of crisp chilled white.
It also boasts three different programmable pouring sizes for each bottle to allow simultaneous pouring. This will help wine experts, hoteliers, restaurant and bar owners avoid waste and speed up service.