ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wine Serving Temperatures: Tips to Serving the Perfect Glass

Updated on June 27, 2015

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're enjoying the weather. I've been in Britain for the last few weeks, where the weather has been astonishingly and consistently warm and sunny. Hotels have to explain to irate visitors, that no, they don't have air-conditioning because the weather is never warm enough to need it. Usually. The daily newspapers use the weather as an excuse to put scantily-clad sunbathers on the front page. And restaurants completely take leave of their senses.

I drink a lot of wine; probably too much. Here's the scoop on serving red wine in warmer climates (hint: you'll probably need to chill it).

Red Wine at Room Temperature?

The old adage of white wine should be chilled, red wine shouldn't was fine back in the days when wine came from a cold cellar. The white could be served as it came or cooled further by whatever means was at hand. The red would be served chambré, literally roomed: at the temperature of the room.

It wouldn't be served at body temperature, which is what I've had far too often lately when ordering red wine during these warmer months. I dare say that the local vampires find it a pleasant substitute for O-negative dispensed in vivo, but it's not for me.

One problem is that rooms are a lot warmer than they used to be. Even in the last forty years, average room temperatures have risen around 2 degrees Celsius. Red wine should always feel cool on the lips, never blood-warm. In the last fortnight I've asked for my bottle of red wine to come with an ice bucket, and a glass of red at the end of the meal to have a couple of ice cubes added.

Today, in a nice Asian airport lounge, the red wine was on the cool shelf with the mineral water. Perfect. If you ever order a carafe of red wine in a restaurant in southern France at the height of summer, it will always come lightly chilled.

Practical Wine Storage

Modern living doesn't lend itself to wine storage. Older houses often came with a cellar, if only to make use of some free space for storage and/or a small billiard table. Today's houses, designed for maximum profit with minimum effort, have no such luxuries. In this case you need to find somewhere in your house that's remote from the heating: perhaps in a cupboard against an exterior wall.

If you go through a lot of wine, or you like to have a small number of expensive bottles in for celebrations or special meals, then a wine fridge may be better, one that cools the wine down to a storage temperature of 10C or thereabouts: some will control the humidity as well to prevent corks from drying out.

Perfect WIne Serving Temperature

You can buy lovely bottle collars for wine that show the temperature of the contents. They often show the recommended serving temperatures for wine, and nothing is ever above 18C, which is usually for claret, the red wines of Bordeaux, and red wines from the New World. Burgundy comes in a bit lower. I often serve Loire reds at the same temperature as white wines.

Now, of course, most of us have neither the time nor the patience to cool a bottle of wine to within 1C of its recommended drinking temperature. So instead, we use rules of thumb. For many years, the rule of thumb went: white wine in the fridge, red wine not in the fridge. I hope that we're a bit more enlightened these days.

If you're like me, and that all seems like to much fuss and expense, then the following tips should see you through.

All white wine and sparkling wine goes in the fridge. If you can't get it in a least a couple of hours before drinking, then take it out into an ice bucket or use a freezer jacket: a slip-on sleeve that's pre-frozen and helps to cool the wine quickly.

Light red wines such as Beaujolais and Loire reds (like Saumur) can also go in the fridge, but for no more than hour. Burgundy and other Pinot noir reds almost always benefit from half an hour being cooled.

Other reds can be brought straight out from storage... Apart from in winter, when they may actually need a bit of time to warm up, but that's another story.

One thing is for sure, when things hot up, get the wine in the fridge, red or white. Else, if your partner of choice for the evening is a connoisseur, you'll be sleeping the lonely sleep of the vampire.

Wine Temperature Chart

white (all varieties)
Yes, at least 2 hours
Try a freezer jacket or wine chiller to speed up cooling
Yes, at least 2 hours
Try a freezer jacket or wine chiller to speed up cooling
light reds (e.g., Beaujolais, Loire)
Yes, 1 hour maximum
Chill in an ice bucket if needed
medium reds (e.g., Pinot noir, Burgundy)
Yes, 30 minutes maximum.
Chill in an ice bucket if needed
all other reds
Serve directly from storage

The Burgundy Region of France

One of the most beautiful areas of France, the Burgundy region southeast of Paris is home to some of the best wine in the world. The five main districts in Burgundy should sound familiar: Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise, Mâconnais, and Beaujolais. Nearly all of the wines produced in Burgundy come from either red Pinot Noir grapes or Chardonnay grapes.

© 2013 Jay Dickens


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)