About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Serving Temperature for Wine

The wine serving temperature can greatly influence the taste and enjoyment of a wine. Serving a wine cool can help mask the flaws seen in young or cheap wines, whereas serving wine warmer can allow the bouquet and complexity to be expressed, which is ideal for aged or full bodied wines. Lower temperatures also repress the 'bite' that alcohol can give in lighter bodied wines.

Wine Serving Temperatures:
°C - Wine Style:
19 - Brandy, Cognac
18 - Full-bodied red wines, Vintage Port
17 - Syrah, Tawny Port
15-16 - Medium bodied red wines - Rioja, G.S.M, Merlot, Malbec
14 - Amontillado Sherry
13 - Light bodied reds - 'Beaujolais'
12 - Full bodied whites - 'Barrel fermented Chardonnay'
11 - Medium bodied white wines - 'Oak aged Chardonnay'
10 - Rosé, light bodied white wines, Botrytis dessert wines
9 - Vintage Champagne
8 - Fino Sherry
7 - NV Champagne/ Méthodes/ Late Harvest dessert wines
6 - Sparkling wine, Cava, Prosecco, Asti, Sekt


Have you ever tasted a full-bodied/oaked Chardonnay at room temperature? If so, it probably tasted mostly of oak and the fruit was missing. If you've had it too cold, you've probably tasted nothing but acidity, again no fruit. In both cases, extreme temperature caused components to overpower/mask the fruit, and the wine was out of balance. To experience a wine's aroma and flavour, it needs to be served at the correct temperature.
Most white wines will chill to a good drinking temperature after one and a half hours in the fridge. If you need to cool it faster, an ice bucket filled with ice and water will do the trick in about 30 min.
Most reds, if cellared at 13-14°C, will need to be brought up to temperature. Ideally, you want your full-bodied reds served at 18°C. Remember the average room temperature is about 21-22°C even warmer in summer. Standing red wine at room temperature for two to three hours, well away from ovens and heaters, will warm them sufficiently. If time is of the essence, you can immerse the bottle in a basin of warm water for several minutes. (I am not a fan of the microwave option, especially wines with screw-cap closures).

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