Have you ever had to make red wine warmer? Serving wine at the correct temperature is one of the big challenges in restaurant service, but it’s not something we often think about at home. We tend not to fuss too much about this stuff. Stick the white in the fridge, keep the red on the table, and serve accordingly.

 

Wine serving temperatures

Putting aside personal preferences for a second, there are recommended temperature ranges for every style of wine. You don’t need to carry a thermometer or anything like it, but familiarising yourself with these will help you know when you might need to make your red wine warmer or cool down your white wine.

  • Light or medium-bodied white wine:

    Relatively simple, light whites should be served chilled, between 7-10°C. This is the optimal temperature for most Pinot Grigio, Riesling, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and so on.

  • Medium to full-bodied white wine:

    More complex whites should be served a little warmer – lightly chilled at between 10-13°C is about right. These wines, like white Burgundy, have a greater depth of aromatic character and flavour that can become masked at too low a temperature.

  • Sweet wines:

    Sweet dessert wines like Sauternes should be served well chilled, between 6-8°C.

  • Sparkling wines:

    Cava, Champagne, Prosecco and other sparkling wines will taste at their best when well chilled, between 6-10°C.

  • Light-bodied red wine:

    Light red wine like red Beaujolais and many Pinot Noir wines can actually be served very lightly chilled, at around 13°C.

  • Medium to full-bodied red wine:

    Red Bordeaux, Rioja, Toro and beyond. Fuller-bodied reds should be served at between 15-18°C, traditionally called “room temperature”.

 

Why would you need to make red wine warmer?

OK, you get it. These are good guidelines, and they make sense. Simpler wines served colder, more complex wines a little warmer. That kind of thing. Why on earth would you need to make red wine warmer than it already is?

It’s all about wine appreciation, really. Let’s say you’re at a wine tasting event. Trade shows, wine fairs and winery tasting rooms should all take temperature seriously, and with good reason: Let’s say you’re visiting Château Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux: This is one of the world’s finest wines, you’re paying for the privilege, and you’re here to taste. If the wine is served too cold, you won’t be able to truly appreciate just how special it is. You might as well not have come all this way, and you might as well be drinking something a lot cheaper.

The same applies to your wine tasting party at home, so be careful!

 

How do you make red wine warmer?

Luckily, you can easily overcome the problem of your red wine being too cold. The solution is straightforward, and you don’t need any fancy equipment.

  • Top tip: To make your red wine warmer, simply cup the bowl of the glass in your hands. Your body heat will naturally and gently warm up the wine inside.

 

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re supposed to hold your wine glass by the stem instead of the bowl, this is part of the reason: Most of the time, we don’t want to make our wine warmer, and so we should keep our sweaty palms well away! However, when all else fails and you need to warm up your wine quickly, that’s how you do it!

 

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