In order to get the best out your wine it’s really important to serve it at the right temperature.  It can make all the difference.  A white wine served too cold loses its flavour, all you can taste is the acid and the alcohol.  A red wine served too warm loses its freshness and balance.  It will appear soft and high in alcohol.

Here are serving temperatures recommended to make the most out of the respective wines.serving wine, wine temperature, wine thermometer, south african wine

Champagne and sparkling VERY COLD – 5-7° C  (pop in the freezer ten minutes before serving, but don’t forget … or you could have an explosion on your hands)

Sauternes and sweet wines VERY COLD – 5-7°

Light whites WELL CHILLED – 7-8°

Medium full whites VERY COOL – 8-10°

Rich whites COOL – 12-13°

Light reds – SLIGHTLY CHILLED – 13° C  (don’t be nervous about serving chilled red, some reds are actually better a bit cooler)

Medium reds – COOL – 15-16°

Full reds – ROOM TEMPERATURE – 18-19° C


  • Never ever put ice in good wine – it melts and dilutes the wine.
  • Place red wine, opened beside the fire or a radiator before serving to warm it up.
  • You can freeze wine (I wouldn’t do it with a really valuable bottle) but rather than waste an opened bottle push the cork right down and so long as the bottle isn’t full it’s safe to freeze!