Though you may have a “good” bottle of wine on your hands, serving it at an inappropriate temperature can completely ruin it. As a rule, a wine should be served at a temperature where its flavors and aromas are most exposed. This “ideal” temperature, of course, varies based on the wine. Here are a few ballpark numbers:
Warm, spicy reds are often best served between 61° and 64°, while medium bodied reds often fall between 58° and 61°. Fruity reds are nice usually around 53° and 55°. Oaked white wines often open well at 52°, while medium-bodied and lighter wines like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc range between 48° and 52°. Very sweet, sparkling whites are often ideal between 42° and 46°, and Champagne tends to be great at around 43°.
These numbers are general guidelines, based on personal taste, so be aware that every wine has its own ideal temperature that can deviate! If you’re ever unsure about a wine’s correct serving temperature, serve it a little cooler than room temperature. If it is too cold, it will still open up over time while it seeks room temperature. For discriminating temperature control, consider investing in a wine cooling unit like the Transtherm. It’s amazing what a profound effect a few degrees can have on a glass of wine. With a such a precise wine cooling cabinet at your disposal, you can have fun discovering the ideal temperatures of your favorite wines. (And no longer is your wine at the mercy of environmental temperature fluctuations!)