If you’re wondering “does wine temperature matter?”, the answer is yes! There actually is an ideal red wine temperature and an ideal white wine temperature.
Serving and storing wines at their recommended temperatures will ensure you get the most balanced flavors the wines have to offer.
If a wine is too hot or too cool, they can taste unbalanced. You may miss out on the subtleties in a wine’s flavor profile if you don’t store and serve the wine at its optimal temperature.
Below we will teach you the best red wine temperatures (for storing and serving), and the best white wine temperatures (for storing and serving).
Plus, make sure you don’t miss the fun facts about wine and the tips for wine cork recycling at the bottom of this post!
Red wine temperature
It’s a common misconception that the ideal red wine temperature is room temperature.
Let’s look at the most obvious deterrent for the wine at room temperature theory: there isn’t a set “room temperature”.
A room in sunny California is, most likely, going to be warmer than a room exposed to the crisp Maine air.
Also, unless you keep your house the same temperature year round, room temperature will fluctuate as the seasons change.
Red wine temperature serving
All red wines benefit from being cooler than “room temperature”. However, since each red wine is different, the ideal temperature for serving red wine varies from wine to wine.
These red wine serving temperatures are general recommendations and a good place to start in adjusting your red wine temperatures.
However, the more you begin experimenting with specific wines, they more you’ll be able to taste when the flavors are balanced.
- Lighter bodied red wines benefit from being served the coolest, anywhere from 55-60˚ Fahrenheit (13-15˚ Celsius).
- Medium bodied red wines benefit from being served at around 60˚F (15˚C).
- Fuller bodied red wines benefit from being served the closest to room temperature, anywhere from 60-65˚F (15-18˚C).
So how do you get red wine to those cooler temperatures? There are couple of different ways you can try.
Normal refrigerators run at or below 40˚F (4˚C), which is much cooler than any of the recommended serving temperature for red wine.
To chill your red wine to a lower temperature, you can keep it in a temperature controlled wine fridge (affiliate link).
If you don’t have a wine fridge, don’t despair! You can put your wine in the (regular) refrigerator earlier in the day, and then take it out before serving (30 minutes is probably a good place to start).
You can also put it in the fridge for 20 minutes or so right before serving to chill it down to the proper red wine temperature.
Keep in mind that depending on the type of red wine, it may need a longer or shorter time in the fridge.
Storing red wine temperature
Just as there is a recommended serving red wine temperature, there’s also an ideal storing temperature for red wine.
55˚F (13˚C) is commonly accepted as the proper temperature for storing red wine. If you’re going to be storing wine for a long period of time (years), then you should aim for around 55˚F (13˚C).
However, if you’re storing it for a shorter period of time, you have a little more wiggle room with your temperature for storing red wine.
Safe red wine storing temperatures range from 45-65˚F (7-18˚C). It’s a good rule of thumb to keep your red wine stored in that temperature range, even if you can’t keep it at 55˚F (13˚C).
White wine temperature
Now that you know about optimal red wine temperatures, let’s move on to the ideal white wine temperatures.
It’s commonly known that white wine is best enjoyed cold.
With a normal refrigerator set to run under 40˚F (4˚C), many people keep white wine in the fridge.
However, just like serving a red wine too warm, serving a white wine too cool can be problematic.
If you white whine temperature is too cold, it may make the wine taste unbalanced.
The cool temperature can hide some of the subtleties and dimension of the wine’s flavor profile.
White wine temperature serving
All white wines benefit from being chilled. Just like with red wine, the serving temperature for white wine varies between the different varieties of wine.
The white wine serving temperatures below are a good place to start. Trust your palate, if a wine doesn’t taste balanced, examine the temperature more closely.
- Sparkling wines like Prosecco benefit from being served the coolest, anywhere from 42-50˚F (6-10˚C)
- Lighter white wines do well in temperatures between roughy 44-50˚F (7-10˚C)
- White wines with more body and oak show the most range of flavor when served between 50-55˚F (10-13˚C)
Just like with with red wines, the best way to achieve the optimal temperature for serving white wine is to put it in a temperature controlled wine fridge.
If you don’t have a wine fridge, we recommend pouring your wine and letting it sit for a little bit of time before enjoying it. The temperature in the room will warm up the wine if it has time to sit.
Also, if you have a bottle of white wine that is room temperature and hasn’t been chilled, an easy way to chill it down quickly is to wrap it in a damp paper towel and stick it in the freezer, or submerge it in an ice bath.
Temperature for storing white wine
Even though red and white wines have different serving temperatures, you might be surprised to learn that the temperature for storing white wine and red wine is the same.
The optimal storing white wine temperature is 55˚F (13˚C), especially if storing for long periods of time.
If you’re storing wine (both red and white wines) for longer periods of time, make sure to do so properly. It would be such a shame to save a special wine and have it taste spoiled when it’s time to drink it.
The best place to do it is in a wine cellar, or a dark, cool (temperature regulated) space. It’s also best to store wine bottles with corks horizontally.
Horizontal storage keeps the cork wet, which helps keep the cork intact. If a cork begins to break down, it will let air into the bottle and speed up premature aging.
Facts about wine
Now that you know the best red wine temperature and the optimal white wine temperature, let’s go over some fascinating wine facts!
- Wines with animals on the label are referred to as “Critter Wines”.
- The terms vineyard and winery are not interchangeable. A vineyard is where the grapes are grown, and a winery is where the wine is produced and where wine tastings are often held.
- Wine produced in warmer regions is often sweeter, because the grapes produce sugar as they ripen.
- When you’re served a bottle of wine and offered to “taste” the wine, this is for a specific purpose. Tasting the wine isn’t to see if you like it or not, rather, to ensure the wine bottle isn’t corked (spoiled).
- Dionysus is the Greek god of wine (his Roman equivalent is Bacchus).
- It probably comes as no surprise that the state with the most wineries is California.
- However, the most visited winery in the United States is located in Asheville, North Carolina, at the Biltmore Estate.
- The color of wine comes from the time the juice spends in contact (soaking) with the skins of the grapes. When first extracted, the juice is colorless but it develops color the longer it spends soaking.
- Champagne bottles are thicker than regular wine bottles in order to withstand the pressure created by the carbonated wine.
- Stemmed wine glasses (affiliate link) serve an important purpose. Holding a wine glass by the stem ensures that the heat from your hands won’t raise the temperature of the wine.
After you’ve enjoyed opened a bottle of wine, and enjoyed it at the best wine temperature, make sure to hang on to the cork. Wine corks are actually recyclable!
Wine cork recycling
You can’t put wine corks in your curbside blue bins, but there are many places you can drop off wine corks to be recycled.
We like storing wine corks in decorative wine cork holders (affiliate link) until we are ready to recycle them.
Wine cork holders serve as cute decor for bar carts, and then when they get full you can just empty them and take the corks to be recycled.
ReCORK is the largest cork recycling program in North America. Check out their website to find a drop off location near you to extend the life of this natural material.
You can also take corks to your local Whole Foods and drop them off at the customer service desk. They will recycle them for you. We find this to be the easiest way to recycle corks.
If you’re interested in other ways to be more green, check out this list with 10 easy ways to protect the environment.
Wine cork projects
If you’re feeling creative, skip the trip to the recycling center and make one of the seasonal wine cork crafts below.
- Wine cork pumpkin – Pumpkins are a symbol of Thanksgiving and also Halloween, which makes this a perfect .
- Heart shaped wine cork decor – This wine cork project utilizes the colors of Valentine’s Day – red, pink and white!
- Wine cork door decoration – Make this wine cork craft in the shape of a heart. After all, hearts are one of the symbols of Valentine’s Day.
- Cork Christmas star – Christmas is another great holiday for wine corks art. Try making this cork Christmas star in December!
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Wine national days
If you enjoyed learning these facts about wine, you’ll be excited to know there are actually several national days of the year dedicated to different kinds of wine.
National days of the year are a way to celebrate foods, animals and items that you come into contact with.
Be sure to check out our national day’s guide for the history of national days and why we celebrate them.
We’ve listed some of our favorite wine national days and wine holidays below.
- National Mimosa Day – This champagne based cocktail is a brunch favorite. Try one with a plate of waffles!
- National Champagne Day – Ring in the New Year with a champagne toast on December 31 before starting your New Year’s resolutions for the upcoming year!
- National Mulled Wine Day – Check out this recipe for mulled wine which is made entirely in a crockpot.
- National Rosé Day – Not to be confused with the flower themed Rose Day, this national day celebrates the beautiful and delicate pink hued rosé wine.
- National Sangria Day – Ask your favorite bartender for a glass of sangria. This fruit filled, wine themed, cocktail is great on a summer day.
If you want more wine content make sure to head to our post on National Wine Day to get the full list of every wine holiday in the year.
Looking for more fact-based posts?
If you enjoyed learning these facts about wine, be sure to also check out these posts to learn more fun facts about some of your favorite things!
- Tea facts – Did you know there are several national tea days during the year? They include National Bubble Tea Day, National Chai Day, National Iced Tea Day, National Cream Tea Day and International Tea Day.
- Cranberry facts – Cranberries (along with pumpkins and several other items) are one of the symbols of Thanksgiving.
- Facts about roses – This Valentine’s Day flower has a fascinating history, and each color has a different meaning.
- Chocolate milk facts – Did you know chocolate milk was invented in Jamaica? Learn more about this favorite childhood beverage.
- Super Bowl facts – Learn more about this yearly football related event!
- Tattoo facts – Check out these 15 facts about tattoos to celebrate National Tattoo Day.
Don’t forget to visit our fun facts section to learn more trivia about your favorite items and holidays.
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About the author
Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.
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