Should Chardonnay Be Chilled and What Is the Perfect Serving Temperature?
by Jennifer Kristensen on Sep 05, 2023
If you’re hosting a lovely dinner party, having some friends over, or just sitting down to enjoy your favorite show, what is better than a delicious glass of chardonnay?
But you may ask yourself, should chardonnay be chilled? The simple answer is yes, chardonnay is best when served chilled!
Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful white wine variety and our tips for serving it to its full potential.
A Chat About Chardonnay
Chardonnay is a stunning variety of white wines made from green grapes. The wine originated in eastern France and has become one of the most popular and beloved white wines.
The flavor of chardonnay can vary wildly, from a rich, buttery taste with silky tannins to a crisp and refreshing flavor with a slight acidity. For this reason, it’s easy for many wine lovers to find at least one chardonnay for which they are head over heels.
It can have delicate notes of melon and grapefruit or a deeper taste of peppers and herbs. The versatility of chardonnay can be a blessing and a curse.
While almost everyone can find a chardonnay they’ll enjoy, it also means that ordering and buying chardonnay can be a challenge. One bottle may fit your tastes, while the other disgusts you. So, find a brand you enjoy and stick with it or find comparable brands.
Optimal Chardonnay Serving Temperature
Like most white wines, chardonnay is best when served chilled, but not cold. The ideal temperature range is between 45ºF and 55ºF, or 7ºC to 13ºC.
If you serve chardonnay above 60ºF, the flavors can become confusing and unclear, making the wine more difficult to appreciate and enjoy. If you serve a chardonnay below 40ºF, you lose the flavors completely, and the wine tastes weak and watery.
Because the taste and fullness of chardonnay can vary vastly, the variety you buy determines the proper serving temperature. A fuller chardonnay can still present beautiful flavors at a cooler temperature of 45ºF, while a lighter wine may become bland at that low of a temperature.
If you have a particularly delicate and faint chardonnay variety, it will taste better at a slightly higher temperature, around 55ºF. When in doubt, 50ºF is a safe bet for most white wines.
No matter who you ask, the answer to should chardonnay be chilled is a resounding yes! If you’ve ever had a warm glass of white wine, you know it can become weird and sour.
How to Chill Chardonnay
So, how do you get your bottle of chardonnay to the perfect serving temperature? Undeniably, the best method is to store your chardonnay in a high-quality wine cooler that allows you to control the wine serving temperature precisely.
Below are our top recommendations for how to achieve the ideal chardonnay serving temperature.
Wine Cooler: A proper wine fridge is the best way to bring your chardonnay to the perfect temperature. It will adjust the interior temperature slowly and keep the bottle safe from UV exposure, humidity, and vibrations. If you drink wine even just once a week or every other week, a quality wine cooler or wine refrigerator is a worthy investment.
Kitchen Fridge: If you only have a kitchen fridge or standard fridge, you can leave your chardonnay in the fridge for one to two hours until it's cold. Do not leave it overnight, as it will be too cold and you’ll lose the flavor.
Ice Bucket: Lastly, you can chill your chardonnay by resting it in an ice bucket. The bottle should only sit on the ice for 30 to 45 minutes to become the right temperature. Once you begin drinking the chilled wine, we recommend leaving it out of the ice bucket so it doesn’t get too cold.
How Not to Chill Chardonnay
There are also wrong ways to chill your wine. Below are a few of our don’t when chilling your chardonnay.
- Don’t put it in the freezer.
- Don’t put ice in your glass.
- Don’t chill your wine glass.
We know quick fixes like these are tempting, but we beg you not to compromise the quality of your wine.
Serve Your Chardonnay Perfectly
Should chardonnay be chilled is a common question among wine drinkers. As you can see, the answer is yes, but it's a bit more complicated than that.
If you love wine, serving it at the optimal temperature will elevate the flavors and enhance the overall experience, so it’s worth waiting a few minutes or hours for the wine to chill.
If you have more questions about the best temperature to serve chardonnay and other white wines, like sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or chenin blanc, there are related questions and answers below.
Do I have to chill my chardonnay?
We strongly encourage you to chill all white wines, especially chardonnay. White wine flavors can be confusing when served at room temperature or warm, making it difficult to enjoy and appreciate the wine.
Can white wine be served warm?
Technically, you can serve white wine warm. But you will miss out on the elegant and refined flavors that wineries work so hard to achieve. If you want to respect and appreciate the wine you’re drinking properly, try to get it to the recommended temperature, usually between 40Fº and 55ºF.
Can I serve chardonnay at room temperature?
Modern room temperature is too warm for a delicate chardonnay. Most homes have a room temperature of around 70ºF, which will muddy the sophisticated flavors in a chardonnay. If you can’t wait a few hours to chill your chardonnay, we recommend putting it in a bucket with salt and ice, as this will bring the temperature down in just a few minutes.