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What’s the right temperature to serve every type of wine?

To ensure your wine preserves all its lively character and flavour, read our guide to learn the best serving temperature for all wine styles.
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You may have heard the saying that you need to serve white wine super chilled and red wine at room temperature, but it isn’t quite as simple as that. Finding the optimum temperature to serve your chosen wine style is vital to enjoying it at its best. 

To ensure your wine preserves all its lively character and flavour, read our guide to learn the best serving temperature for all wine styles.

Why does white, rosé and red wine temperature matter when serving?

Wine served at the wrong temperature can affect the wine’s aroma and taste.

If wine is served too warm, alcohol levels can become overly intense, causing the wine’s structure to become flat and flabby. Served too cold, the aromas can be muted, and – specifically with red wines – the tannins can become harsh. Finding balance is key. Whether red, white, rosé or sparkling, each wine requires a specific temperature setting to cater to its unique style.

Most fridges have slightly lower temperatures than those needed to preserve wine, so buying a wine fridge may be worth considering, which allows you to control the temperature as required. Failing this, storing wines in a cool, dark place (such as a pantry) is okay; using a thermostat may be a good idea to ensure the temperature is right.

Champagne on Ice in Bucket Stock

What is the ideal red wine temperature?

Red wine, in general, is best served at room temperature. But, exactly, what is room temperature and do we need a thermometer?

In Australia, room temperatures peak in summer from anywhere between 24°C to 29°C and in winter, they’re a cooler 13°C to 21°C. Therefore, if you’re keeping your reds at home, be aware of the season and the current temperature to ensure your wines are well stored.

Red wines are best served in glasses with larger bowls, as the wide surface area allows the wine to aerate and enhance its bouquet. Depending on personal preference, some reds may benefit from sitting half an hour before drinking to allow the wine to breathe.

Decanting your red wine around half an hour to an hour before serving is an excellent way to achieve the ideal temperature to serve it at the optimum temperature.

The ideal red wine temperatures are as follows:

  • Light-bodied reds: 10-13°C
  • Medium-bodied reds: 13-15 °C
  • Full-bodied reds: 15-18°C

After the red wine has been opened, re-cork or recap it to prevent excess air from getting through and leave the wine in a cool, dark place. It’s a good idea to ensure you drink it within a few days (not that wines such as our Dogs of the Barossa Shiraz are likely to stick around).

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What’s the ideal white wine temperature?

To preserve the crispness and refreshing acidity of white wines such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and Vermentino, you should ideally serve them a little warmer than you may think. This allows the wine’s taste and aromas to pop while keeping the acidity levels finely balanced.

To savour white wines at their best, keep them in a wine fridge or cool place and aim to serve them between the following temperatures:

  • Light-bodied white wines: 7- 10°C
  • Medium-bodied white wines: 7- 12°C
  • Full-bodied white wines: 10-13°C

Ideally, white wines preserve their temperature when served in a traditional wine glass with a long stem and narrow bowl. The long stem helps us grip the glass without cupping the bowl, as the temperature from hands can warm up the wine. The narrow bowl has a limited surface area, reducing air exposure and preventing the wine from warming up.

Upon opening, re-seal the bottle with a cork or screw, slowing the oxidation process. Place it in a cool place, and drink it within a few days.

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Woman getting bottle of wine from cooler

What temperature should you serve rosé wine at?

Rosé is associated with summer, so it’s best served cool. If rosé is left out in the sun too long, it risks becoming too heavy on the palate, which is far removed from the lightness it is renowned for.

It’s best to keep rosé chilled in a wine fridge or cool place – anywhere between 10-13°C is ideal. It’s worth remembering that served too cold can turn those bright and fruity flavours on their head, resulting in a flat and sour taste.

As with white wine, rosé is best poured into a traditional glass with a long stem and narrow bowl to preserve its optimum temperature and taste. After opening, the best way to store rosé is to recap the bottle, keep it cool, and drink it within a couple of days.

Read our bluffer’s guide to wine.


What temperature should you serve Champagne and sparkling wine?

Whether Champagne, Prosecco, Cava or Jansz, most sparkling wines should be served chilled – but not too cold.

Temperatures between 7-10°C are most suitable for Brut and Extra Brut styles; for sweeter wines, however, up the thermostat slightly, but don’t let it exceed 13°C. Cold temperatures slow the release of carbon dioxide, which is responsible for all those lively bubbles. Very cold temperatures, however, can make the wine lose its bright flavours and become flat.

As with other wine styles, serving sparkling wine too warm will likely cause the alcohol content to surge, losing all the natural tastes and aromas. Flute glasses or tulip glasses are ideal for preserving the cool temperature, and they prevent the bubbles from dissipating too soon.

Before serving, you can reduce the temperature slightly by placing the wine in an ice bucket for around 20 minutes. Not only will it enhance the wine taste good, but it will set the scene for celebration.

With pre-opened bottles, store them in a wine fridge or cool place, and use a wine stopper to prevent the loss of carbonation; be sure to drink it within a couple of days.