Red Wine 101: The Ideal Serving Temperature

I think we’ve all been there where you’re super excited to try a new wine and you have been bitterly disappointed, or maybe you really liked a wine then went to drink it again and it tasted completely different. It’s probably because the most common problem is not serving the wine in the way it was supposed to be served.

Temperature is something that can affect the way a wine tastes and smells. Informing yourself on how certain wines should be served like, in what glasses and at what temperatures, you are sure to never make that mistake again. There are so many places you can buy white wines and buy red wine today, even online, but making sure you serve it right is the key. Let’s go over a few tips and tricks for serving wine just right.


Wine should be served at the right temperature to really shine. If it’s too hot, a wine can taste a bit heavy and flat; if it’s served too cold, you will hardly be able to taste any aromas or flavours, especially with reds the tannins can seem harsh. The most common mistakes when it comes to wines are that reds are served at a warm room temperature which is wrong, and most whites are served straight out of the fridge which is once again not ideal. Now I’m not saying that these temperatures will be ideal for everyone, everyone has their own personal tastes, but consider them more like guidelines so you can taste the full flavour that red wine has to offer.

We all know the characteristics of a fruity red wine are a lot of complex aromatics that are fresh and rich at the same time. Like a Chardonnay or a fruity Beaujolais, a fruity red should be served in between 10 degrees to 15 degrees. A full bodied red wine or port, however, to make the tannins in a Cabernet or Syrah a bit smoother and a little less bitter, should be served a little cooler than room temperature at around 15 degrees to 18 degrees to let the right flavours out.

Sticking a warm red in the fridge for a few minutes may just do the trick but if you already store your wine in a cool cellar or cool place then you may need to let it rest at room temperature for at least half an hour before serving. It sometimes can be difficult to tell what temperature a wine is at so there is technology available just for this particular purpose. There are instant digital thermometers which can read a wine’s temperature right through the bottle; there are also other models which you can stick into the bottle to get a reading. You might even develop a good sense of feel after a while and just know what’s right as soon as you touch a bottle, but this is a skill that comes with time and knowing what’s right.


Another tip, if you are in a rush and can’t spare the waiting time of cooling a warm wine, is to place it in a mix of ice and water to cool down. This will work faster than just ice as it covers more of the bottle. A red wine will probably only need about 10 minutes where a white will probably need 30 minutes. To heat it up just run it under some warm water for a few minutes and never try anything that is too hot or dangerous.

You can buy a great selection of white wines, champagnes and you can buy red wine at a local bottle store, or online and have it delivered straight to your door.