#credit will lyons

When a red is served too warm, it becomes very tannic and often hard to swallow. If in doubt drop and ice cube into your class for 5 seconds before removing it to bring the temperature down, for the record, usually between 14°C and 18°C. Or 12°C for a Pinot Noir. 


I’m often asked about the correct temperature at which to serve wine perhaps more than anything else. In Japan the climate makes this a very real issue. 

If you serve wine at the wrong temperature, you can alter its fragile aroma compounds, affecting the taste. As is also the case with wine, personal preference can pay a part, but its best to follow the winemakers guidance to enjoy the wine as it was intended to be drunk 

Such is the range of styles, from light, crisp Sauvignon Blanc to heavy, rustic Shiraz, that you can’t make a one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to temperature. Each grape variety behaves differently. But there are a few ground rules.

An average household refrigerator will chill a bottle of wine down to 5°C in a few hours. As a rule of thumb, all sparkling wines, light, crisp and aromatic white wines—Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Vinho Verde and Soave—and pale rosés should be served straight from the fridge, between 5°C and 8°C. If you find this too cold, you can always warm the glass by cupping it in your hand.

If you serve wine at the wrong temperature, you can destroy its fragile aroma compounds, affecting the taste.

More medium-bodied white wines, such as white Burgundy, Chardonnay, Sémillon, white Rioja and Viognier, and light, refreshing reds like Beaujolais, Chinon, fruity Pinot Noirs and Lambrusco, are best at 10°C to 15°C. This can be achieved by refrigerating the wine for around 1½ hours and then bringing it out of the fridge for a further 15 minutes before serving.

Heavy reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz and Zinfandel are, I think, best served at cellar temperature, 14°C to 18°C. Any cooler and you begin to mute the aromas and accentuate the tannins; not pleasant.