An expert guide to wine temperatures

Do you worry that you’re over chilling your white wine? You’re not alone. With wine, most rules can be broken, but serving your favourites at the right temperature is important and can really enhance your enjoyment of them.

An expert guide to wine temperatures

People have a tendency to chill whites and rosés a bit too much, which can mute or close up their aromas and flavours, so it’s best to aim for a light chill rather than letting your wine get ice-cold. And we often serve red wines too warm – keep them in a relatively cool place, not near the oven or a fire.

Guideline temperatures to suit each style


And don’t forget to chill dessert wines, tawny ports and dry sherries – treat them just like a white.

6 great bottles to chill carefully

Tesco Beaujolais 2020, France 13%

Exactly the sort of young, juicy red that benefits from a light chill to emphasise its succulent red cherry and strawberry fruit, especially in warmer weather. Off to the fridge with it, for a short spell. (It’s an absolute bargain, too.) Available from Tesco (£5).


Étoile de Timberlay Crémant de Bordeaux Brut Rosé NV, France 12%

This dry fizz cries out to be served well chilled, at about 6ºC, to bring out the refreshing quality of the crisp bubbles and its light redcurrant hint. Try to keep the bottle cool while drinking it too. Available from Marks & Spencer (£9).


Finest Sancerre Rosé 2020, Loire, France 13%

Treat rosés like white wines – always chill them but not too much, or you’ll close down their aromas and flavours. This is a very dry and delicate pink, with wisps of red berries and a hint of salt. Available at Tesco, (£12).

Sancerre Rose

Barbadillo Solear Manzanilla Sherry, Sanlucar, Spain 15%

A pale, bone-dry sherry with lemon peel and fresh-baked bread flavours. Chill it to about 8ºC before sipping with cured meats, salted almonds or simple seafood. Available fromThe Wine Society (£5.95 for a half bottle).


Waitrose Blueprint Sauvignon Blanc Reserva 2020, Casablanca, Chile 13%

There’s a lively citrus tang to this young sauv blanc from coastal Chile, and that is really emphasised when the wine is lightly chilled. Available from Waitrose (£7.49).

Sauvignon Blanc Reserva

Extra Special Marques del Norte Rioja Crianza 2018, Spain 14%

Reds like these, ripe and rich, with spicy notes of clove and cinnamon from barrel ageing, should not be chilled. Instead, drink it at room temperature (though keep in a shady spot away from warm sun or heaters). Available from Asda (£6.50).


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