Have you ever wondered why some wines are served chilled, and some are room temperature; some are even served warm, like a spiced/mulled wine? Have you noticed when a wine is served cold when it’s usually enjoyed room temperature, the taste of the wine is different? There’s a reason wines are served at varying temperatures. Here we will demystify the confusion behind wine temperatures, and how cold or warm you should be enjoying them.
The general rule is: The sweeter the wine, the colder it should be. In saying that, white wines are generally served anywhere between 55 and 58 degrees. If the wine is too cold it will mask the aromas and make the flavors seem flat and thin. If the wine is too warm, it will lack acidity and structure. Adversely, red wine is generally served anywhere from 62 to 65 degrees. This is considered ‘room temperature’ (remember, this was considered room temperature before modern heating was introduced). If red wine is served too warm, it can seem too alcoholic and a bit unstructured. If a red is served too cold, the flavors and aromas will be muted.
Sparkling wine should be served ice cold, anywhere from 40-50 degrees. Go ahead and put the bubbly in the freezer an hour before enjoying it. The ice cold temperature keeps the bubbles fine as opposed to foamy. Keep the sparkling wine in ice until the bottle is finished.
Rose should be served cold just like a white wine-anywhere from 50 to 60 degrees. It’s best to put these wines in the fridge as soon as you buy them. After you open the wine, leave it on the table to sweat; the wine’s aroma and character changes slightly as the temperature rises. See if you can pull the flavors out of the warming wine as the evening progresses!
After opening a red bottle of wine, leave the wine out on the table to slowly warm. Just as the white, the red will sweat, and the aromas and flavors will change slightly. If you’re going to enjoy a mulled wine, especially in this cold weather, it’s ok to drink it warm-the spices really come forward when this wine is warmed and it tastes delicious when heated. If you drink mulled wine cold, the flavors will not only be muted, the wine will come off as sweet.
If you enjoy a good glass of wine like we do, consider booking your next trip across Virginia wine country with us! Valentine’s Day is coming up, and a wine tour is a great date night you won’t soon forget!