The mood is set. John Legend is crooning through the speakers. The cheese is slowly getting to room temperature. The lights are an appropriate level of low. And there’s a bottle of pinot noir just waiting to be enjoyed. But hang about, there’s a tiny thought bouncing around the back of your head. Should a pinot noir be chilled? Don’t ruin the ultimate date night with rogue thoughts - we’ll tell you all about the best temperature to serve pinot noir (and store it too). There, that leaves more room for the fun stuff.
Why does temperature matter?
Serving pinot noir at the proper temperature ensures that all of its delicious flavours, notes, like fruit and earth, and aromas are preserved. Basically, you’ll enjoy the true taste of the wine that the winemaker has crafted for you. Although the serving temperature doesn’t change pinot noir’s characteristics, it can affect how your palate recognises them.
- If you serve pinot noir too cold, it might taste very tannic or acidic and you might lose the subtler flavours.
- If you serve it too warm, it might taste ‘hot’, overly alcoholic, or a little lifeless with not many obvious flavours.
What's the best temperature for serving pinot noir?
The best temperature to serve pinot noir is between 55℉ and 60℉ / 13℃ and 15.5℃. This means it’s ideally served at slightly cooler than room temperature. If it’s at room temperature when you want to serve, try chilling it in the fridge for roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
How to serve pinot noir depends on the type, though. It’s different for pinot noir rosé and pinot noir sparkling.
- Pinot noir rosé is best enjoyed colder than its red siblings. 50℉ / 10℃ is ideal. After you’ve poured a glass, you can either pop it back in the fridge, leave it on the table, or use an ice bucket. If you leave it on the table, you’ll find the flavours and aromas slowly develop as you enjoy the bottle. You should be able to taste the delicate red fruit aromas and acidity. If you can’t, it might be too cold and need a minute or two to warm up.
- Should sparkling pinot noir be served chilled? Like all sparkling wines and champagne, pinot noir sparkling wine definitely needs to be served chilled. Aim for between 40℉ and 45℉ / 4℃ and 7℃. This allows the bubbles to keep their shape, rather than turning into foam. Make sure you put the bottle back in the fridge or in an ice bucket between servings.
What temperature do you store pinot noir?
Oh, you fancy huh? If you’re storing (also known as cellaring) pinot noir, it’s best to store it in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment, away from light and vibration. A wine fridge can provide the ideal temperature and help your pinot noir stay fresher, and tastier, for longer.
Storing pinot noir at too warm a temperature (think warmer than 65℉ / 18℃) or too cool a temperature (think cooler than 45℉ / 7℃) for a long time can age the wine, causing its flavours to break down. The ideal pinot noir storing temperature is between 50℉ and 55℉ / 10℃ and 13℃.