Serving temperature

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About
The temperature at which a wine is served has a profound effect on how it smells and tastes. Different styles of wine deserve to be served at different temperatures to enhance their good points and try to mask any faults. The following are some general observations, with suggested guidelines in italics.

The higher the temperature, the more easily the volatile flavour compounds evaporate from the surface of wine in a glass. So, to maximize the impact of a wine’s aroma or bouquet, it is sensible to serve it relatively warm, say between 16 and 18 °C (61–4 °F) (at temperatures over 20 °C/68 °F the alcohol can begin to evaporate so markedly that it unbalances the wine). Serve complex and mature wines relatively warm.