Psst! You’re Probably Drinking Your White Wine Too Cold

updated May 1, 2019
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Up until recently, I’d tuck my white wine in the fridge until it was as cold as I could get it before popping the cork. It was icy and refreshing as can be, and no one was complaining. But I found that most of the white wine, regardless of what kind I was actually drinking, tasted mostly the same: It was very cold and it was wine. Come to find out it’s because I have actually been drinking it too cold this whole time.

The Right Temperature to Enjoy White Wine

The ideal temperature range for your fridge is 35°F to 38°F. If it’s set to that, your chilled white wine is not far off from that temperature. However, light to medium-bodied white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, is actually best served at 45°F to 50°F. Fuller-bodied white wines, like oaked Chardonnay, are best even warmer, at 50°F to 55°F. This is because at extra-cold temperatures, the aromas and flavors of the wine are masked. Serve the wine a little warmer and these good things open up, so you can really taste the wine.

Light to medium-bodied white wine: 45°F to 50°F

Full-bodied white wine: 50°F to 55°F

Crisp wines like Sauvignon Blanc can be served a bit colder than white wines with more body, like oaked Chardonnay, because the cooler temperature emphasizes their refreshing characteristics, yet the recommended temperature is still warm enough that their flavors won’t be hidden.

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So what should you do? There’s no need to break out a fancy wine thermometer or anything to take the temperature of your white wine — just go ahead and chill that wine in the fridge as usual, but take it out for 10 to 15 minutes before enjoying it so that it warms up just slightly and you can taste all it has to offer.