Should Port Be Chilled? (Complete Guide)

    Should Port Be Chilled? (Complete Guide)

    There’s something really decadent about sharing a bottle of Port after dinner, isn’t there?

    But to get the most out of your bottle, it’s handy to know the best temperatures to serve and store Port, so let’s take a little look.

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    Should Port Be Chilled?

    Yes, Port should be chilled. Ruby and vintage port should be served slightly chilled between 16 - 18°C (60°F - 64°F), tawny port should be chilled to 14 - 16°C (57°F - 60°F) while white port should be served at 10 - 12°C (50°F - 54°F) . All types of port should be stored at a cool temperature between 11 - 15°C (51°F - 59°F).

    Serving Temperature of Ruby & Vintage Port

    The best temperature to serve Port varies depending on the style.

    You see, Port comes in lots of different shapes and sizes, but as a rule Port benefits from being served slightly chilled.

    However, in order to get the best out of your Port it is important not to serve it too cold or too warm and this is where knowing your styles of Port comes in handy.

    Too cold and you may not be able to taste the beautiful and complex aromas of Port.

    Too warm and the drink may taste too alcoholic, becoming unpleasant for you and your guests.

    So in order to make sure you’ve got the balance right, let’s look at 4 types of Port and their ideal serving temperatures.

    Popular Styles of Port and Their Ideal Serving Temperature

    White Port Serving Temperature
    • Ruby Port - This young style of Port is as fruity as it is bright and is best served just below room temperature (60–64°F or 16-18°C)
    • Tawny Port - Nutty and caramelised, this style of Port benefits from being served slightly chilled (57–60°F or 14-16°C)
    • Vintage Port - Often regarded as the crème de la crème of Port, this style is also at it’s best just below room temperature (60–64°F or 16-18°C)
    • White Port - Who said Port had to be a red wine? This white style of Port is ultra refreshing and benefits from being served chilled and can even handle an ice cube or two. (50–54°F or 10-12°C)

    So if that’s how cold Port likes to be served, what about storage?

    If you want to make your Port last for as long as possible, what temperature should you store Port at?

    What is the Best Storage Temperature for Port? 

    Storage Port Temperature

    Due to its star quality and ageing potential, Port is best stored in a wine cellar, wine refrigerator or cabinet. 

    Consistency is key here, and It is best to avoid extremes or sudden changes of temperature when it comes to storing Port, so try to avoid using a kitchen fridge if you can. 

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

    Unlike most other wines, try and store your Port upright where you can, as this well help the cork from becoming damaged over time.

    Read more about how long port lasts: How Long Does Port Last?

    So if Port needs to be kept at cool temperatures, can you put Port in the fridge?

    Should You Put Port In The Fridge?

    Wine Fridge

    Yes, you can put Port in the fridge and this will even help to slow down the oxidation process with open bottles of Port, too. 

    However, if you want to make sure that you are consistently serving your Port at the best temperature a specialised wine refrigerator is a good investment.

    But don’t worry if you leave your Port in a domestic fridge for too long and it becomes too cold!

    Related Guide: How To Store Port?

    Simply remove it from the fridge and give it about half an hour to warm up slightly then it’ll be good to go.

    So how long, exactly, should you chill Port for?

    How Long Should You Chill Port For?

    Wine Storage

    The length of time you should chill your Port depends on the style of Port and your personal preference.

    Remember that some Port styles, such as Ruby and Vintage Ports, will need less time in a refrigerator in comparison to White and Tawny Ports. 

    If you have a domestic refrigerator the drier conditions may damage the corks over time, so it’s best to store your Port elsewhere and place it in the fridge up to an hour before serving so it can reach the required temperature.

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

    Sounds too good to be true?

    Visit Expert Wine Storage for more information on how wine fridges can help look after your wine.

    To help you out with your Port we’ve put together five top tips to remember when serving your favourite fortified tipple:

    5 Tips on Serving Port

    • Serve Ruby and Vintage Ports just below room temperature.
    • Tawny Port prefers to be served slightly chilled, around 57–60°F or 14-16°C.
    • White Port can be served even colder, and makes a great aperitif when served over ice with tonic.
    • Store your Port between 11°C and 15℃ (51–59°F) and keep it away from direct sunlight and disturbances.
    • Always store your Port upright wherever you can.

    Summary of Chilling Port For Serving and Storage?

    Here's a summary of all you need to know about how to store and serve port at the best temperature depending on the type:

    Ideal Serving and Storage Temperatures for Different Port Varieties
    Port Style Ideal Serving Temperature Ideal Storage Temperature
    Ruby Port Just below room temperature (60–64°F or 16-18°C) 11°C to 15°C (51–59°F)
    Tawny Port Slightly chilled (57–60°F or 14-16°C) 11°C to 15°C (51–59°F)
    Vintage Port Just below room temperature (60–64°F or 16-18°C) 11°C to 15°C (51–59°F)
    White Port Chilled, even with ice (50–54°F or 10-12°C) 11°C to 15°C (51–59°F)

    Before You Go...

    Wine Barrels

    We hope you enjoyed our article on whether Port 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)

    If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, or email us at

    Learn more about other Wine Types here.

    You can also shop new wine coolers online at Expert Wine Storage

    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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