Serving Temperatures

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Different kinds of wine taste their best at different serving temperatures. The colder a wine, the less tart, sweet, and aromatic it seems. Intrinsically tart and mildly aromatic wines, usually light white and rosé wines, are best served cold, 42–55°F/5–13°C. Less tart, more aromatic red wines are more full-flavored at 60–68°F/16–20°C. The strongly alcoholic, richly aromatic port is said to taste best at 65–72°F/18–22°C. Complex white wines may be served at higher temperatures than their light cousins; similarly, many light red wines are better at cooler temperatures.