How to serve wine at the right temperature

16th June 2014

Serving wine at the correct temperature can really help to ensure you’re enjoying the complex aromas and flavours at their best. Generally white wines are best when chilled and red wines are better at room temperature, however, as with many other aspects in the world of wine, it can often be a matter of personal taste.

With a background in the restaurant trade in France and years of experience as a head sommelier, Waitrose Cellar specialist Stéphane Sanchez is the ideal guide to show you how to serve a perfect glass of wine.

"When serving red and fortified wine I make sure they are around room temperature (about 18°C).” he says; “White, rosé and sparkling wine should be chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving (8-10°C). Light bodied reds and dry sherry may also be chilled slightly."

Here are Stéphane's top tips for serving wine at the correct temperature:

• Serve a smaller measure of chilled white to prevent the wine warming up in the glass too much. Keep the bottle in the fridge, ready for top ups!

• Complex whites, such as white Burgundy, or light reds, such as Beaujolais, work well lightly chilled. Take out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

• If your red is too warm, pop it in a bucket of cold water. Add a few ice cubes to the water if necessary.

Click here to watch a video for more handy tips from Stéphane.

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  • Good article, with easy serving tips! I have also read an article saying that depending on various regions, wines' optimum serving temperatures can vary by a few degrees. The article has a chart of ideal wine serving temperatures, and although it's slightly harder to remember, I find it really useful to have saved somewhere just in case!

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