Wine Serving Temperatures

The Washington Post says what I have been saying for years: Americans drink their reds to warm and their whites too cold.

Here’s a handy graphic from Scott Harvey


Remember that when the rule of thumb “red wines should be served at room temperature”, there was no central heating and those castles, manor houses and chateau were cold! “Room temperature” is generally understood to be about 60 degrees. Not 72. Not 85. If it’s warmer than 68, don’t be afraid to pop the bottle of red into the fridge for 5 to 20 minutes to get the temperature down where it should be.

And by all means pull the white wine out of the fridge and let it sit for 5 to 20 minutes before serving it. Most refrigerators are set for 37 degrees. That is too cold for most white wines. Only sparkling wines and ice wines should be served that cold.

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About dslocicero

David is an author and architect living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He writes about wine, food and travel. His first book is Pour Me Another: An Opinionated Guide to Gold Country Wines, now one of the highest rated books about California Wines.