Wine Temperature Basics


What is the best wine temperature to serve and store your favorite wines? I have been asked this question many times. Trying to be responsive to Blog readers and business clients, I embarked on what turned to be a two-day research project. What I found is hundreds and hundreds of websites that present information on wine storage and serving temperatures. As you can imagine, the opinions about temperature facts were all over the board.

Keeping your wine at the correct temperature is critical to maximizing its value and taste. Wines kept at too high of a temperature will age faster than desired. Wine stored at too cold of a temperature can develop deposits or other sediments in it. Each type of wine has its own desirable storage temperature range. Keep in mind the ideal storage temperature is not always the same as the ideal serving temperature.

Some general information was reasonably consistent from one website to another. The common refrigerator generally operates at 35 degrees F. The lighter the wine the cooler it should be served. The warmest you should serve any wine is 60 to 65 degrees F. Wine should be stored where humidity is about 70 percent. If you had to pick one temperature to store wine, store it at 55 degrees F.

Based on website research, the following table represents averages of all the information that was found. This table for obvious reasons cannot be portrayed as the definitive answer to the best temperatures for storing and serving your wine. It can be used as a guide for your information and use. With over 1,000 different types and variations, the wine temperatures evaluated were limited to a few varieties that are more common.

No one can tell you the precise storage or serving temperatures of wine. The biggest variable to consider is what your own personal tastes tell you. Having a wine refrigerator to better control the temperatures of your stored wine can help you experiment to find just the right temperatures for your tastes.

Below you will see the Wine Name followed by the storing temperature and serving temperature as measured in degrees F.

Vintage Port 65 65

Bordeaux 63 63

Merlot 62 63

Red Burgundy 63 63

Cabernet 63 63

Shiraz 62 62

Pinot Noir 61 63

Rioja 61 62

Chianti 56 60

Zinfandel 59 64

Rhones 58 60

White Zinfandel 43 60

Cabinet Sauvignon 45 59

Maderia 57 58

Tawny Port 52 58

White Burgundy 50 57

Rose 44 48

Beaujolais 52 48

Viognier 50 52

Sauternes 51 51

Chablis 50 52

Chardonnay 52 47

Riesling 46 46

Champagne 45 45

Sparkling Wines 45 45

Ice Wines 43 43

Asti Spumanti 50 52

Author: Ronald Senn, Vice-president, Ideal Wine Coolers, Jan/2010

Source by Ron Senn

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