Should Dessert Wine Be Chilled? (Full Guide)

    Do You Chill Dessert Wine

    There’s no better way to end a meal than with a glass of deliciously golden dessert wine, is there?

    But how should you serve dessert wine?

    What is the best temperature for dessert wine?

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    What is The Best Temperature to Serve Dessert Wine?

    Dessert Wine Serving Temperature

    Credit: Sauternes Wine from Waitrose

    The best temperature to serve dessert wine is between 41–47°F or 5-8°C.

    In order to get the best out of your dessert wine of choice it is important not to serve it too cold or too warm.

    • Too cold... and you may not be able to taste the beautiful and complex aromas of the sweet wine.
    • Too warm... and the drink may taste too syrupy and cloying, becoming unpleasant for you and your guests.

    Dessert wine, like other white wines and rosés, should be chilled before serving. This can be done using a wine fridge or other refrigerator.

    Let’s take a look at some of popular styles of dessert wines and the best serving temperatures for them:

    3 Popular Styles of Dessert Wine and Their Ideal Serving Temperature

    • Sauternes, France - The crème de la crème of dessert wine, Sauternes sings of sweet honey and sugared ginger. Serve well chilled (41–47°F or 5-8°C)
    • Pedro Ximenez, Spain - Tasting like syrup-soaked raisins and pairing beautifully with chocolate, this style of Sherry can be served slightly warmer, around 14°C or 57°F.
    • Sweet Riesling from Germany - These sweeter styles of aromatic Riesling (labelled Kabinett or Spätlese) can be chilled right down, so their sweetness doesn’t become cloying. (41–47°F or 5-8°C)

    What is the Best Storage Temperature for Dessert Wine? 

    Dessert Wine Storage Temperature

    The ideal temperature to store your dessert wines is between 11°C and 15℃ (51–59°F).

    It is best to avoid extremes or sudden changes of temperature when it comes to storing your dessert wines.

    Try to store them in a specialised wine cellar, wine refrigerator or cabinet if you have them.

    If not, not to worry!

    Keep your bottles of dessert wine somewhere cool and calm away from direct sunlight and too many disturbances.

    So would the fridge be a good option, here?

    Should You Put Dessert Wine In The Fridge?

    Wine Fridge in Kitchen

    Yes, please!

    In order to reach its ideal serving temperature, dessert wine should go in the fridge.

    If you want to make sure that you are consistently serving your dessert wine at the best temperature a specialised wine refrigerator is a good investment, especially considering the low temperatures they require..

    Ideally, your dessert wine should be in the fridge and chilled down to 5-8°C (41–47°F) before serving.

    Although this can vary depending on personal preference.

    Domestic fridges tend to run a little colder than wine fridges, so try not to leave your dessert wine in there for too long. 

    But don’t worry, if you leave your dessert wine in a domestic fridge for too long and it becomes too cold you can simply remove it from the fridge 5 minutes before serving so it can warm up a little.

    How Long Should You Chill Dessert Wine For?

    Dessert Wine Chilling Time

    Now this really depends on your fridge and how cold you like your wine.

    If you have a domestic refrigerator the drier conditions may damage the corks over time, so it’s best to store your dessert wine elsewhere and place it in the fridge a 3-4 hours before serving to reach the required temperature.

    Save the space for important things, like dessert.

    If you have a specialist wine fridge the conditions will have been designed to look after your wine, and in this instance dessert wines can go in a wine fridge for a longer period of time. 

    Sound too good to be true?

    Visit Expert Wine Storage for a new wine fridge.

    Here are our top tips on serving dessert wine:

    5 Tips on Serving Dessert Wine

    • The ideal serving temperature for dessert wine is between 41–47°F or 5-8°C.
    • Use a wine cooler to help maintain your dessert wine’s temperature in between servings.
    • Some styles of dessert wine, like Pedro Ximinez, can handle being served a little bit warmer, so always check in with your wine seller if you’re not sure.
    • Store your dessert wine between 11°C and 15℃ (51–59°F) and keep it away from direct sunlight and sudden movements.
    • Laying your dessert wine on its side whilst storing can help to ensure the cork doesn’t dry out and can help to keep the wine better for longer.

    Summary of Do You Chill Dessert Wine

    Here's a summary of all you need to know about chilling Dessert Wine:

    Dessert Wine Summary
    Topic Details
    Best Temperature to Serve Dessert Wine 41–47°F or 5-8°C
    Popular Styles of Dessert Wine and Recommended Serving Temperatures
    • Sauternes, France: 41–47°F or 5-8°C
    • Pedro Ximenez, Spain: around 14°C or 57°F
    • Sweet Riesling from Germany (Kabinett or Spätlese): 41–47°F or 5-8°C
    Recommended Storage Temperature for Dessert Wine 11°C - 15°C (51–59°F)
    Can Dessert Wine Go in the Fridge? Yes, it should go in the fridge to reach the ideal serving temperature.
    How Long to Chill Dessert Wine? Depends on fridge type. Specialist wine fridges can store dessert wine longer, while domestic fridges need 3-4 hours before serving.
    5 Tips on Serving Dessert Wine
    • Serve dessert wine at 41–47°F or 5-8°C
    • Use a wine cooler to maintain the temperature between servings
    • Some styles like Pedro Ximenez can handle being served a bit warmer
    • Store dessert wine between 11°C and 15°C (51–59°F) away from sunlight and sudden movements
    • Store dessert wine on its side to keep the cork from drying out and prolong its quality

    Before You Go...

    Wine Barrels

    We hope you enjoyed our article on whether Dessert Wine should be chilled.

    Do you need to know how to chill red wines correctly?

    Read our next article about chilling red wines correctly here...

    Should Red Wine Be Chilled? (Full Guide)

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    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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