Chilling the white wine while serving is a general concept. Indeed, the real question is: how chill should it be?
Firstly, let’s discuss how the temperature affects the wine performance. If the wine is cooler, the perceived acidity will be higher. The wine seems more refreshing. But if the temperature is too low. The aroma of the wine will be masked. Vice versa, the wine will be more aromatic if the temperature is higher. However, too high temperature will increase the alcohol burning sensation. Balance is always the key to wine serving temperature.
Generally speaking, the fuller body wine goes for a higher temperature. Especially for those with oak aging. For wines highlighting refreshingness are needed to be chilled at lower temperatures.
Sparkling wine (Champagne, Prosecco): 6-8℃
Sweet wine (Sauterns、Tokaji Aszu): 6-8℃
Light to medium body white (Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling): 7-10℃
Medium to full body white (Oaked Chardonnay): 10-13℃
Light to medium body red (Pinot Noir, Beaujolais): 13-15℃
Medium to full body red (Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon): 15-18℃
Friendly reminder, you should have heard about aren’t the red wines should be served at room temperature? Yes, but that’s referring to room temperature in Europe, not in Hong Kong!
About the author: Hei Cheng, WSET Diploma, free-lance wine column writer. 10 years wine industry working experience. Greater China brand ambassador. Hosted over 200 masterclasses.