The key to enjoying a good wine is not only its storage temperature but also its serving temperature. However, are you certain of which serving temperature for the particular bottle of wine you purchased? It the previous statement made you question your basic knowledge of wine serving temperatures, please read further as I explain the proper storage and serving temperatures.
Wines continue to develop character and flavor after they are bottled. The primary external factor affecting that development is the storage temperature. The ideal temperature for storing wine is not room temperature; it is instead between 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature should also be kept constant so that the cork doesn’t expand or contract, letting in impurities and air. The best way to keep wine at a constant temperature is to purchase a wine refrigerator. If you no not have the money for a specialty refrigerator, a basement storage center in a darkened corner will be adequate. Make certain that corner is not too drafty, though.
Most people are aware that red wines can be served near room temperature. However, that does not imply that they can be served at room temperature. The ideal temperature for red wine is between 50-65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have just purchased a bottle of wine and would like to serve it right away, wine.com suggests that you refrigerate the bottle for about 20 minutes to bring it to the appropriate temperature. Uncork it, let it breathe for about ten minutes, and then serve it in the appropriate wine glasses.
White wine requires a cooler serving temperature. White wine such as chardonnay should be served at about 55 degrees Fahrenheit, or directly out of the wine refrigerator. Wine.com suggests that you can achieve this temperature for a freshly purchased bottle of wine by refrigerating it for one-and-a-half hours to lower it from room temperature.
Fuller-bodied white wines need an even cooler temperature than other white wines. Wines such as Riesling and Sauternes need to be chilled to between 45-50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to WineIntro.com. You may discover disagreement about the proper temperature at which these wines should be served. My personal experience suggests that these wines taste much better and have a more developed nose when served slightly cooler than the cellar temperature of 55 degrees.
Finally, champagne should be served chilled. Chilled does not mean ice-cold; the ideal champagne-serving temperature is 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit. People associate champagne with an ice bucket. You can also chill it in an ice bucket for 20 minutes before serving. Ideally, it will be refrigerated before placement in the ice bucket.
Though you can drink wine outside of these recommended serving temperatures, your experience will not be the same. Proper temperatures bring out the true character of a wine. Notice that, and enjoy the wine more fully.