To Chill or Not to Chill...What's the Right Temperature to Serve Wine?

Not everyone may agree on exactly what temperature to serve wine, but follow these simple rules and you can't go wrong.

  • Champagne or sparkling wine- should be served well chilled.  Place in the refrigerator an hour and a half before serving, or put in an ice bucket with and ice-water mixture 20 minutes before serving.
  • White wine and sweet dessert wines- should also be refrigerated (35° - 40°) an hour and a half before serving.  The exceptions are barrel aged white wines like Fume Blanc, Chardonnay and white Burgandy.  These will improve if allowed to warm up slightely- 20 minutes.
  • Port and sweet sherry- are best served at cellar (55°) temperatures or warmer.
  • Red wines- in almost all cases are best served at 65°, slightly warmer than cellar temperature, but cooler than room temperature.  Unless you have a cellar, best to chill the red wine for 20 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

By our count, the chills have it!