Can You Serve White Wine Too Cold?
If you’re having trouble smelling anything in your white wine, it could be too cold. Aroma molecules bounce around in your wine glass and get carried up to your nose when they can break their bonds in the wine.
The colder the wine, the less the aroma molecules bounce.
The warmer the wine, the more likely it is they can wiggle loose and make it to your nose for you to enjoy.
Pro Tip: Chilled white wines coming directly from the fridge are often below recommended serving temperatures.
- If you’re having trouble smelling anything in your white wine, the problem is almost certainly that it’s too cold.
- Pour yourself a glass of white wine 15-20 minutes before you’re actually going to drink it and let it sit at room temperature. You should notice a difference in the strength of the aromatics.
Fun White Wine Temperature Experiment
If you want to play with white wine aromas, you can do this fun side-by-side experiment.
Find a time when you have about 2 hours for this experiment. Get a bottle of white wine that hasn’t been in the fridge.
- Open the bottle and pour yourself a glass of wine. Stick a small cover over the glass – a lid to a jar or a small plate. Set the glass aside.
- Put the rest of the bottle in the fridge and chill it down for about 2 hours.
- Pour yourself a glass of the chilled wine.
- Smell both wines side-by-side.
Not only will the room temperature white wine smell more aromatic, but it will also likely taste heavier in your mouth, too.
The combination of acid and temperature can change the textural experience in your wine.
Fun Personal Wine Fact: When I’m doing a wine tasting for wine analysis, I don’t chill white wines so that the wines can fully express themselves. Wine! Fun!
Why Does It Matter If My White Wine Is Too Cold?
Understanding how serving temperature changes your experience of white wine can change your overall enjoyment of a white wine.
If you drink enough white wines, you will eventually come across one that seems ‘closed’, meaning that it’s not very aromatic or expressive.
Letting it sit and warm up a bit might just be what’s needed.
Enjoy what you drink and drink well!
Thirsty for More?
Check out this 30-second tasting tip on how to taste wine tannins.
And here’s a fun experiment to figure out the difference between tannin and acid in wine.