Gauge Wine Guys: Know the Right Temperature For Any Summer Wine

In trying to decide where to start with general wine tips–it being summer and all–I thought I might start with … Continued

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In trying to decide where to start with general wine tips–it being summer and all–I thought I might start with something that really bugs us: the right wine at the wrong temperature. There are several ways that wines are temperature sensitive and disrespecting these sensitivities can really ruin your wine experience.

Here are some basic temperature guidelines to remember for summer wines:

45° F: Sparkling wines or Champagne
At or Below 50° F: Sweet wines
At or Around 50° F: Roses and many light reds
55° F: whites, standard cellar temperature
65° F: Red wine should never be served above this temperature

Now, there are always exceptions and opinions will vary, but here are general rules of thumb: Many wines that are delicious at 60 degrees are offensive above 75 degrees. It is always better to start too cold, and warm up to temperature than to start too hot. During storage and transportation, it is also important not to roast your wines. Ideally, wines should be kept at a relatively constant temperature. That doesn’t mean that wines have to be stored at exactly 55 degrees. For most of us, that is impossible. What you don’t want are major fluctuations in temperature, which will “tire out” the wine and it won’t be as good. Likewise, storing or allowing wines to warm up above 70 to 75 degrees cooks the bright characteristics out of the wine. –Bjorn Larson