Nos conseils aux professionnels - Température de service des vins - Les Grappes

What is the ideal temperature for serving wine?

Updated on November 30, 2022

Restaurant owners, wine merchants and gourmets, here is an article that will be invaluable to you! Les Grappes tells you at what temperature to serve your wines. This is the perfect way to improve your service, and to take advantage of all the qualities of the wine. Indeed, the serving temperature is important because the ideal temperature of a wine is the one that allows to reveal all its flavors and thus to honor it!

Tasting conditions

Before discussing the ideal serving temperatures, we would like to give you some information about the temperature of wines.

One of the main defects inthe servicelies in the temperature of the wine: wines to be drunk chilled are often served too cold, while wines to be drunk at room temperature are unfortunately served too warm.

Temperature is a decisive factor in wine tasting since low temperatures prevent the expression of wine aromas.The temperature is a decisive factor in the tasting because low temperatures prevent the expression of the wine's aromas, while high temperatures raise the alcohol which then begins to take precedence over the aromas.

There is no ideal average temperature, it varies according to the wine and depends on several data such as structure, complexity and balance of the wine. This is why it is important to take into account the particularities of the wine to define its ideal serving temperature: the more structured a wine is with tannins, the higher its serving temperature will be. Then, a good wine or an aged wine can easily bear 2 to 4°C more than a simple wine. The ambient temperature also plays an important role in the definition of the serving temperature, since wines are tasted a little cooler in summer than in winter.

Which temperature is recommended for which wine?

Now let's get into the details: here are some temperature guidelines according to the type of wine you wish to serve.

Serving temperature for red wines

For the service ofred winesFor the service of wines, it is necessary to count a few degrees above the room temperature. However, it should be remembered that wine deteriorates in contact with heat, and that each wine deserves a temperature that is appropriate for it.

  • For young, light and fruity red wines likeRed Sancerrethe serving temperature is between 11 and 14°C. By young we mean wines less than 2 years old.
  • For Beaujolais red wines, tannic wines and natural sweet wines likeBanyulsthe serving temperature is between 13 and 14°C.
  • For fleshy and fruity wines such asChinonorCôtes-de-Provencethe temperature is between 15 and 17°C.
  • For complex and powerful wines such asSaint-Emilionor theChâteauneuf-du-Papethe serving temperature is between 15 and 17°C.
  • For complex and tannic red wines such asSaint-EstèpheFor complex and tannic red wines such as the : the serving temperature is between 15 and 17°C.
  • For complex and elegant red wines, such as Corton, the serving temperature is between 16 and 17°C.
  • Exceptional wines should be served between 19 and 20°C.

Serving temperature for white wines

White winesWines such as reds are served cooler than reds. Indeed, since heat accentuates the acidity of the wine, serving white wines cool makes them less aggressive. If you want to accentuate the refreshing aspect of a white wine, you can make sure that the bottle is also cool. Next, we suggest that you consult the recommended serving temperatures for the different categories of white wines:

  • For dry, light and nervous white wines such asMuscadetthePetit ChablistheMâcon-Villagesthe serving temperature is around 8°C.
  • For dry, supple and fruity white wines such asChablistheGravesthe Roussette de Savoie, or theSancerre : the serving temperature is between 8°C and 10°C.
  • For dry, full-bodied and racy white wines like theCorton-CharlemagnetheMontlouisPessac-Léognan: the serving temperature is between 10°C and 12°C.
  • For dry and very aromatic white wines such asGewürztramineror Muscat: young wines should be served between 8°C and 10°C, and older ones between 10°C and 12°C.
  • Semi-dry, sweet and syrupy white wines such asMonbazillacThe serving temperature is between 8°C and 10°C.

The temperature of service of rosé wines

It is forRosé winesthat the management of the temperature is the simplest. Whether they are vinous or full-bodied like theBandolor Lirac, or lively and fruity like theCôtes-de-Provencethe serving temperature will be between 8°C and 10°C. They must be fresh.

Structured rosé wines can be served at a higher temperature: Clarets de Bordeaux, for example, should be served at a temperature between 13 and 14°C.

The serving temperature of sparkling wines

Servingsparkling winesimplies that you want to emphasize the freshness and therefore the acidity of the wine. Since acidity and bubbles work together, you should serve your sparkling wine quite cold. Be careful not to serve it too cold, since carbon dioxide dissolves better in a liquid at low temperature: if yourchampagneis too cold, its bubbles will be coarse.

There is a rule for serving sparkling wines: the serving temperature should be between 8 and 10°C as an aperitif and between 9 and 12°C when accompanying hot dishes.

  • For brut champagnes, without years and blanc de blancs: the temperature of service is between 6 and 8°C.
  • For vintage champagnes and prestige cuvées : the serving temperature is between 8 and 10°C.
  • For very old champagnes, but also for complex and aged white wines: the serving temperature is between 10 and 12°C.

Serving temperature of sweet wines

A sweet wine is a sweet wine, meaning that its sugar level is between 12g/L and 45g/L. If it exceeds this level, it is called sweet wine. These are unctuous wines, which, if the temperature of service is too high, will bring out the fatness of the wine too much. It would then become quite heavy. It is therefore necessary to bring freshness to these wines by the temperature.
For liqueur wines: the serving temperature should be around 6°C.
For simple sweet wines and muscatel: the serving temperature is between 7 and 8°C.
For sweet white wines like Sauternes: the serving temperature is between 10 and 13°C.

It is important to remember that sweet wines can be served cooler as an aperitif than when served with a meal.

Modifying the temperatures

Once you have taken into account these indications on the temperature of wines, you can act on the temperature of your wines when serving them, by heating or cooling them as needed. Be careful, you must absolutely avoid sudden temperature variations, and thus keep your wine away from too powerful heat and cold sources.

To cool the wine, the ice bucket is the fastest and safest way. Add water to the ice, dip the bottle in it and after fifteen minutes maximum, you will be able to reduce the temperature from 20°C to 8°C. In the refrigerator, it would have taken more than an hour to cool your wine. Moreover, the ice bucket allows a homogeneous cooling of the wine and allows to keep your bottle cool at the table. It can also be used in summer for red wines. Avoid at all costs the freezer, which risks to make your wine too cold and risks to break your bottle.

To warm up the wine you can choose to decant it, which speeds up the warming process. You can also leave it in a room at room temperature for two to three hours, avoiding major heat sources.

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Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky for Les Grappes

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