As the temperature cools down outside, should our wine be doing the same or quite the opposite? We explore this query and report back our findings in our Toast guide to the ultimate wine serving temperatures
The process of opening, pouring and joyously quaffing your favourite drop with friends seems like a very easy task, doesn’t it? Perhaps too easy. But what you may not realise is that the temperature you’re serving that red, white, sparkly or pink drop at could hugely change how you and your companions enjoy your wine. We take a look at a what temperatures best suit what tipples and why.
ICE COLD: Sparkling wines
5 – 10 degrees Celsius
Sparkling wines such as champagne and prosecco are best served ice cold. Serving these varieties at such a chilly temperature will mean the bubbles are fine and not foamy, and will preserve the fresh and fruity elements of the drink.
Popping your sparkling wine in the freezer an hour before serving will help deliver them to the ideal temperature. Once you’ve opened your bottle, keep it chilled in an ice bucket or in the fridge to ensure the fresh factor lasts.
FRIDGE COLD: White wines and rosé
7 – 14 degrees Celsius
White wines such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and riesling should be served well chilled. If sparkling wine is best served "ice cold" then white wines are best served "fridge cold" to enhance their zesty, crisp attributes. Oaked whites can be served slightly warmer than unoaked due to their more full body. Much like white wines, rosé – particularly dry rosé – is also best at ‘fridge cold’ temperature.
The best method to ensure your white wine or rosé is at the perfect temperature when poured is to pop it in the fridge straight after you purchase it. If you’re wanting to drink it on the day of purchase, putting it in the freezer for half an hour should fast track the chilling process.
Once you’ve opened and served some of your white or rosé, it is best to keep the bottle out on the table and let it sweat rather than popping it straight back in the fridge. This will help the flavours and aromas to develop further.
COOL: light reds
12 – 17 degrees Celsius
The more fruity a wine, the warmer it can be. Therefore, light, fruity reds like pinot noir and grenache are best served cool rather than cold in order to give them more depth. We recommend keeping your bottle of light red out of the fridge after purchasing and only putting it in the fridge to be chilled for 30 minutes before opening and serving. This will give the wine a mild coolness that still allows the fruits to be brought to the surface beautifully.
SLIGHTLY COOL: rich reds
17 – 21 degrees Celsius
Rich reds such as syrah, merlot and cabinet sauvignon are best served slightly warmer than other wines. Warmth helps these high tannin wines to smooth out and balance perfectly on the palate. Placing your bottle of rich red in the fridge for just 15 minutes before opening and serving will bring it to a perfect temperature (it should feel just below room temperature). This will make for a rich drop that feels warming and rich on the palate but has a slight coolness so that the alcoholic taste isn't too overwhelming.
But before you go fretting and frowning your way through trying to memorise a list of certain temperatures and flavours, just remember that experimenting is key. Just like shoes, profile pictures and takeaways, it’s actually all down to the individual. Enjoy experimenting with what you prefer for different wines – if you prefer everything ice cold, then that is perfectly fine – but make sure you enjoy experimenting with temperatures first in case you’re missing out on something magical. Your palate’s pleasure is paramount!
Check out some of our picks below for wines to try using our Toast temperature tips.