Should White Wine Be Chilled Before Serving?

by Anthony Zhang

Most white wines are best served chilled. 

But, you need to chill the wine to just the right temperature to reveal all the beautiful flavor notes, delicate aromas, crisp texture, and refreshing acidity. 

Let’s find out more about chilling white wine and the best wine serving temperature for the various styles. We’ll also discover why it’s important to chill white wine to the correct temperature and offer a few tips for storing and serving it

Further reading

Should White Wine be Chilled?


If you're an experienced wine drinker, you probably already know that red wine is usually served at room temperature (59-69°F), while white wine is served at cooler temperatures

But what’s the optimal wine temperature at which you should serve your favorite whites?

The temperature depends on the white wine style you’re dealing with (full or light-bodied, oaked or unoaked, still or sparkling.)

Ideal Serving Temperatures Based on the White Wine Style

The best temperature for white wines is between 43-52°F (6-11°C).

Typically, lighter wine styles should be chilled to a lower temperature than full-bodied wines.

To help you find the ideal serving temperature, here’s a breakdown for light-bodied, full-bodied, and sparkling white wines: 

1. Serving Temperature For Light-bodied White Wines

Here is the ideal serving temperature for some of the most popular light-bodied whites:


2. Serving Temperature For Full-bodied White Wines

Here are four common full-bodied white wines and the perfect temperature for each:


3. Serving Temperature For Sparkling White Wines

Here is the best temperature you should serve your sparkling wine at:


Why is it Important to Serve White Wine at The Right Temperature?


If you serve white wine at a warmer temperature, you’ll taste the alcohol and bitterness in the wine and miss out on the fruity flavor and floral aroma notes. 

However, if you overchill your white wine, the aroma and delicate flavors will become muted and dull. 

Serving wine at its ideal temperature is the best way to discover the wine’s subtle aromas, layered flavors, and complex character. 

Tips for Storing and Serving White Wine

Now let’s note down a few more essential wine storage and serving tips:

1. What is the Ideal White Wine Storage Temperature?


The best wine storage temperature for an unopened wine bottle is 55°F (cellar temperature). 

This applies to red wine styles (like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon), fortified wine, as well as white wines.  

2. Should White Wine be Refrigerated After Opening?


An opened bottle of white wine can keep in the fridge for around three to five days, but remember to re-cork it first. 

3. What’s the Best Way to Chill Wine: Wine Cooler or Household Refrigerator?


A wine cooler is better for chilling wine than a refrigerator. 


The typical household fridge maintains very low temperature levels which means your bottle of white will experience a sharp temperature fluctuation. Household refrigerators also have very low humidity levels.

On the other hand, a wine cooler or wine fridge will allow the temperature of your wine bottle to lower gradually while maintaining an ideal humidity level at all times. 

But, are these the best options for long-term storage? 

Maybe not.

The best wine storage location is a dark and cool place with just the right amount of humidity (50-70%). While a wine refrigerator is great if you want to store just a few bottles, you’ll need a proper wine cellar for storing an extensive wine collection.       

4. How Long Should You Chill a White Wine?

  • In the refrigerator: It usually takes around 3 hours for white wine to reach the ideal temperature once refrigerated.
  • In the freezer: It typically takes about one hour in the freezer to chill white wine to the perfect temperature.
  • In an Ice-Water Bath: It usually takes 20 minutes to chill a bottle of white wine to its optimal temperature in an ice bath.

5. How Can You Chill Wine Quickly?


Here are two ways to chill your wine fast:

  • How sommeliers do it: Submerge your bottle of wine in ice water using a 50/50 ratio of water and ice. Add a handful of salt to decrease the rate at which the ice melts.  
  • In the freezer: Wrap the bottle in a wet towel before putting it in the freezer to chill the wine faster and more evenly. Keep an eye on the bottle or set an alarm to ensure only a slight chill. Otherwise, if you forget it in the freezer the wine might freeze, and the bottle could crack. 

Serve Your White Wine Perfectly to Enhance Your Drinking Experience!

Whether it’s a fruity Pinot Grigio, delicious Sauvignon Blanc, or a sumptuous dessert wine, it’s always a good idea to chill your favorite white before serving it. This is the best way to experience all the delicious flavors, aromas, and acidity. 

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