Wine Temperatures and Wine Cooling For Beginners

I didn’t bring my website to the internet just so you can buy a wine cooler. Instead, I see it as a sort of “community” that people can visit without being bombarded with various wine cooler brands shouting BUY ME.

That’s why you find this information page before you, and it’s also the reason why I’ve headed it “for beginners”. You see it wasn’t so long ago I was in the same position as you. I love wine, not just to drink but to admire as well (you understand, I’m sure). So, based on the research I’ve done and the fact I had to start somewhere, I have yet again decided to share what I know.

For this page you’ll find some handy pointers on what to look for in wine temperatures (which can be a minefield on its own), and how to generally go about wine cooling. Of course, I have touched on how to serve wine on another part of my website. If you’re interested in finding out more about that because you have a really important dinner party (or some other special occasion) coming up, take a look at my page here.

So, let’s have a look at wine temperatures.

Understanding Wine Temperatures

Firstly, it may surprise you to know it doesn’t matter what type of wine it is, they’re all stored at the same temperature. I’ve included this snippet of information because when I started researching wines on a more serious note, it always confused me how one brand of wine (regardless of color) was kept in the same cellar.

However, and this is something you really need to think about if you want the best out of your favorite wines. When you’re ready to drink it, you should make sure it’s “served” at the correct temperature.

One of the biggest mistakes made and believe me, I have done this myself, is to drink white wine too cold or red too warm. So, just for you I’ve included the following guide so you know what to look for.

  • Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon – Anywhere from 64-66F
  • Chardonnay and Chablis – Between 48-52F
  • Pinot Noir – 60-64F
  • Dessert Wines, Sparkling wine or Champagne – 40F
  • Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc – 45-48F

If you’re a little confused over the names above, bear in mind the lower the temperature is the chances are its white wine you’re dealing with. Although, some varieties of grapes like Merlot come in both red and white. However, this is a guide for beginners so I’m not going to baffle you with grape varieties here.

Now you have an idea of what temperatures various wines should be kept at, the next step is to understand how you get them to the ideal level of “cool”. This is a whole new ball game, but it’s not that hard once you get used to it.

Understanding Wine Cooling

If you don’t have a wine cooler there is a very easy rule to follow (although it isn’t an exact science), but it will help you get the best from your favorite bottle. All you need to do is remember that red wine should be left to warm up before you drink it, and white wine should be chilled.

Confused on how to do this? Let me tell you.

Like I’ve mentioned, there are no hard and fast rules with cooling wine especially when you’re learning. Just bear in mind that if you’re going to serve a red, you should leave the bottle out so it reaches room temperature. With white wine, simply pop it in the fridge for a while. Obviously this is where wine coolers should come in, but if you’re chilling white wine in your fridge make sure it’s no cooler than 40F.

On the subject of wine coolers, you may well be a little skeptical about buying one right now because you’re not sure how the whole thing works and I completely understand why. After all, I’ve been there! There are many coolers on my site that take into account you’re not an aficionado, and they’ll easily keep a few whites and reds at a temperature so it doesn’t spoil.

The main thing to keep in mind is you will need a cooler that’s able to hold a temperature somewhere between 53 and 57F. All you need to do if you want to use a white is pop it in your fridge for 30 minutes, or for a red (you guessed it), sit it on the side for half an hour.

Whilst the information above may make any experts among you shake your head with horror, don’t forget you were a beginner once too, and everyone needs a helping hand on where to start.

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