To Chill or Not to Chill


When it comes to serving temperatures, most people expect white wines to be served at refrigerator temperature and for red wines to be served at room temperature. This is NOT what we recommend. If wines are served too cold (straight out of the refrigerator) the wines don’t show nearly as much flavor as they would a half hour or so later. That said, warm red wine is not a lot of fun to drink. We don't believe in hard and fast rules when enjoying wine, but there are some tips that will help maximize the wine experience.

Assuming you store red wines at room temperature and white wines in the refrigerator, an easy rule of thumb is to place the red wine in the refrigerator a half hour before you’re going to serve it and take the white wine out of the refrigerator a half hour before you’re planning to serve it.

If you store wines in a temperature controlled wine refrigerator or cellar, there is less of a need to chill red wines. The ideal wine cellar/storage temperature is 54-58˚F or 12˚C. Lighter bodied and fruitier red wines like Beaujolais, Frappato (native to Sicily) or Pinot Noir can benefit from a slight chill.

If you’re in a pinch and need to chill a white wine or sparkling wine quickly, put the bottle in a bucket with ice, water, and salt and you’ll reach the ideal cool temperature in about 6 minutes. The salt reduces the freezing point and the water helps to break down the ice allowing the bottle to chill more rapidly.

For your reference, below are more exact suggested serving temperatures

NV Sparkling Wines: 40-45˚F    5˚C

Vintage/Rich Sparkling Wines: 44-48˚F    8˚C

Crisp/Light/Young White Wines: 44-50˚F    10˚C

Rosé Wines: 46-50˚F    10˚C

Rich/Weighty/Complex/Aged Whites: 47-52˚F    11˚C

Lighter Bodied Red Wines: 56-62˚F   14˚C

Full Bodied/Complex/Mature Red Wines: 60-68˚F   19˚C

White Dessert Wines: 44-48˚F   7˚C

Tawny/Red Dessert Wines: 56-60˚F   13˚C