To chill or not to chill…that is the confusion.

Is there one perfect temperature to serve red or white wine?

Are you confused about wine and temperature? Should red wines in fact be chilled and white wine served at a warmer temperature? Or is it the other way around?

Traditionally white wines are served chilled and red wines at room temperature. More recently the basic rule of thumb has changed with it being said that red wines should be served just below room temperature.

Essentially it depends on the wine, and on your preference but we have put together some basic guidelines that should help with any confusion.

The basic rule of thumb is that white wines should be served chilled and red wines should be served just below room temperature. However, as with most things in life, there are exceptions.

The varietal and the region of origin need to be taken into account and the changes temperature makes to the nuance of a wine considered.

These are general guidelines:

  • Light-bodied white wines should be served between 6-10°C
  • Fuller bodied white wines and light-bodied reds should be served between 10-15°C
  • Full-bodied reds should be served between 14-18°C

And these are things to consider:

  • A white wine served too cold loses its intricacies.
  • A red wine too cold highlights unpleasant tannins.
  • Any wine too warm can taste heavy and toneless.
  • The ambient temperature and the type of meal play a part in the temperature at which you serve wine.
  • The temperature of a glass of wine changes from the moment it’s poured into the glass, and with each sip.


Take your white wine out of the fridge half an hour before serving. Taste it as soon as you take it out the fridge and then just before serving.

Open your favourite red, allow it to breathe, pour a glass, recork and chill slightly. Taste it before and after it’s been chilled.

What is the difference? Which do you prefer?

There is no need to get wrapped up in the “official” formalities of the temperature of wines. Embrace your personal preferences and enjoy each unique sip.

Cattle Baron has an extensive wine list and we’re happy to serve your wine as you like it but, the most important thing to remember is not to get so wrapped up in the formalities of serving wine that you forget what enjoying wine is all about – pleasure!

If you need to chill a bottle of wine quickly put water and ice and a generous amount of salt into a bucket and place the bottle into it.
Salt reduces the freezing point of water and allows it to become colder which in turn chills your wine more quickly.
The wine will be chilled in 20-30 minutes.



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