Reds at Room Temperature

Myth: Always serve red wine at room temperature.

My guests are often surprised when I talk about temperature profiles for wines - especially red wine.

I remember years ago hearing “red wine should be served at room temperture.” Well, that is nonsense.

While the optimum wine temperature can vary depending on the wine, reds will benefit from some degree of chill. Some wines like Pinot Noir are light - to medium-bodied with low levels of tannins. These a best served chilled. (1)

I recommend as a general rule of thumb to either 1) keep your reds in the fridge and remove them 20 - 30 minutes before serving; or, 2) stick them in the fridge 20-30 before serving. In any event, unless you have explicit knowledge from a winemaker on the best temperature for their specific red wine, shoot for 55˚F (13˚C) to have your best shot at bringing out the most flavor and body.

For more discerning red wine drinkers, here are some more specific suggestions: (2)

Light, fruity reds: Serve these reds slightly chilled. Aim for around 54 – 56˚F (12-13˚C)

Medium-bodied reds: Serve between 55 – 60˚F (14-16˚C)

Full-bodied reds: Serve between 61 - 65˚F (16-18˚C)


(1) Six common wine myths debunked. (5/2022). WSET Global.

(2) Mercer, M. (3/2021). What’s the perfect serving temperature for red wine? Decanter.