Service Tips : wine temperature

Posted by Philippe Polleux on

The way we serve wine changes the wine itself, it can improve it or really destroy it. 

Through my career and various wine drinking experiences, I noticed that everybody will care about white wine temperature, but strangely enough, as soon as we open a bottle of red, wine staff and general drinkers will very often not bother about it. 

It is very common during the summer to stumble across red wines which are served far too hot. Wine should be served room temperature but it does not mean 30 degrees ! 

White wine

It is better to be chilled 😉. 

To be more precise, light to medium bodied white like a sauvignon blanc from Touraine, should be chilled around 7 to 10 Degrees.

A full bodied white wine as an intense burgundy should be served around 10 to 13 degrees. 

Therefore, very often,  white wines will be served too cold as it stays in an iced  bucket. 

I would recommend only using an ice bucket at the start, then to leave it on the side only using it to chill the wine if it gets too warm. 

Sparkling wine :

It needs to be chilled around 6 to 10 degrees. Same rule will apply as light white wine.

Red wine : 

It all depends on the body and tannins of the wine. 

A light red with low tannins like this particular Barbera should be served slightly chilled :13 to 15 degrees.

A full bodied wine like a Corbieres should be served at "room temperature" which means 15 to 20 degrees. 

Therefore, don't feel intimidated to ask for an ice bucket or to use a fridge. I personally do it a lot during the summer and I am always surprised to notice that many wine waiters find it odd.

The temperature of  served wine is one of the most basic procedures to make sure wine tastes great. Wine at the right temperature will showcase aromaticity and enjoyable fruits, while too hot, you will lose those aromas and the alcohol will take over.

Tannins when too chilled will provide astringency, therefore a powerful tannic wine should never be served too cold. 

Now that you know the rules, obviously, it all depends on you and how you like your wine.

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