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Wine Serving Temperatures

The best temperature for serving wine varies based on the type of wine.  In general, we tend to drink our white wines too cold and our red wines too warm in the U.S.A.

Temperature (F.)
Which Wines:
45 degrees (F.)
7 degrees (C.)
Most white wines you'll come across including Chenin Blancs, Sauvignon Blancs, Loire Wines, Rieslings and 'everyday' Chardonnays.  If they are served colder, the aromas and flavors will be minimized and you won't get full enjoyment.
50 degrees (F.)
10 degrees (C.)
Full bodied, high quality white wines including Sauternes and rich white Burgundies.  Light red wines like Beaujolais.
60 degrees (F.)
15 degrees (C.)
Red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bordeaux, Zinfandel, Rhones and Syrah/Shiraz.

Most people have heard that red wines should be served at 'room' temperature, but that is really a reference to 'cellar' temperature.  Cellar temperature is usually about 55 degrees which is perfect for storing wine .  The reason that red wines are best enjoyed at slightly reduced temperatures is that alcohol will produce an unpleasant bite on the palate when served at normal room temperature.