Pouring pinot noir and wondering what temperature it should be? Temperature affects how you perceive the flavors of wine, so getting it right can make all the difference. Whether it's a Burgundy, Old-World rosé, or Willamette Valley pinot, knowing the best temperature to drink pinot noir at is key.
Best Temperature to Serve Pinot Noir
Serving and storing pinot noir at the proper temperature is a delicate balance. Doing so can preserve all of its cranberry and earth notes, providing an ideal balance of fruit, alcohol, and acid while revealing the subtle nuances of the wine's flavor profile. While temperature doesn't change any of its characteristics, it can affect how your palate perceives them.
As with most red wines, pinot noir is ideally served at slightly cooler than room temperature. In general, serving red wines at room temperature is too warm, and flavors can become muddled while the alcohol takes over. Lighter bodied reds, such as pinot noir, are best served at about 55°F (13°C). If your pinot noir is at room temperature, you can cool it to the appropriate temperature by throwing it in the fridge for a couple hours prior to drinking. Keep in mind though, if the wine is too cold, you will lose the subtler aspects in flavor.
Rosé of Pinot Noir
Rosés are best served colder than their red counterparts. Chill your pinot noir rosé down to 50°F (10°C). Once you've poured a glass, you can opt to leave it on the table to sweat or put it in an ice bucket. If left on the table, the flavors and aromas will slowly unveil bit by bit as you work your way through the bottle. The cool temp will highlight the delicate red fruit aromas and acidity. If you find the fruit flavors to be muted, it's likely too cold and needs a minute or two to warm slightly.
Sparkling Rosé of Pinot Noir
If you're drinking pinot noir bubbles, it's likely Champagne, a rosé pet-nat, or similar. These lovely numbers should definitely be served chilled. When served at around 40-45°F (4-7°C), the bubbles will keep their structure rather than foaming all over the show. Once opened, be sure to throw the bottle in the fridge before pouring second rounds.
Storage Temps for Pinot Noir
How you store the wine can also affect its flavor profile. Ideally, store pinot noir and other wines in a temperature and humidity-controlled environment away from light and vibration. You can store pinot noir in a wine refrigerator, which is at a good temp to help extend its longevity. If you store wine at too warm of a temperature for extended periods (usually greater than 65°F or 18°C), it can prematurely age the wine or cause its flavors to break down. Storing wine at too cool of temperatures can also damage the wine. The ideal temperature to store red wine is between 50-55°F (10-13°C), while you can store whites and Champagne at 45°F (7°C).
Getting It Just Right
Serving and storing wine at the right temperature for each individual style makes a big difference. Take the time to get it right to ensure you experience all the lush, brambly fruit and earthy autumn flavors in your pinot.