Should Pinot Noir Be Refrigerated

As someone who enjoys wine, I am frequently inquired about the appropriate ways to store and serve various types of wine. Today, I would like to address a topic that is frequently discussed among wine …

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As someone who enjoys wine, I am frequently inquired about the appropriate ways to store and serve various types of wine. Today, I would like to address a topic that is frequently discussed among wine enthusiasts – is it necessary to refrigerate Pinot Noir?

Pinot Noir is a fascinating and delicate red wine that is known for its light to medium body, red fruit flavors, and silky texture. It is a versatile wine that pairs well with a variety of foods. However, when it comes to serving temperature, opinions vary.

Some people argue that Pinot Noir should be served at room temperature, while others believe that it benefits from a slight chill. Let’s explore both perspectives.

Room Temperature

The traditional recommendation for serving red wine is at room temperature, which is typically around 65-68 degrees Fahrenheit (18-20 degrees Celsius). This temperature range allows the wine to fully express its aromas and flavors. It is said to enhance the complexity and depth of the wine.

However, it is essential to note that the concept of “room temperature” originated in cool wine cellars of European castles, where the ambient temperature was significantly lower than most modern homes. In warmer climates or during the summer months, room temperature can be too warm for red wines, including Pinot Noir.


The idea of chilling red wine might sound unconventional, but it can be a refreshing and enjoyable experience, especially during hot summer days. By refrigerating Pinot Noir, you can bring the serving temperature down to around 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit (12-15 degrees Celsius).

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Chilling Pinot Noir can have several benefits. Firstly, it can help preserve the wine’s delicate aromas and flavors. Cooler temperatures can slow down the rate of oxidation, which can sometimes cause a wine to lose its freshness. Secondly, the slight chill can emphasize the wine’s acidity, making it more vibrant and refreshing on the palate.

However, it is crucial to avoid over-chilling Pinot Noir. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), the wine’s flavors may become muted, and its texture may feel more closed off.

My Perspective

As a lover of Pinot Noir, I have experimented with both serving styles – room temperature and refrigerated. Ultimately, I believe it comes down to personal preference and the specific circumstances.

During cooler months or when enjoying a bottle of Pinot Noir in the evening, I tend to lean towards serving it at room temperature. I find that the wine’s aromas and flavors are more pronounced, and it allows me to fully appreciate its complexity.

On the other hand, on a hot summer afternoon or when hosting a backyard barbecue, refrigerating Pinot Noir can be a game-changer. The slight chill makes it incredibly refreshing and a perfect companion for lighter dishes like grilled salmon or a fresh salad.


In the end, whether you choose to refrigerate your Pinot Noir or serve it at room temperature is entirely up to you. Both approaches have their merits, and it’s worth exploring and experimenting with different serving temperatures to find your personal preference.

Remember that wine is meant to be enjoyed, and there is no right or wrong way to savor a glass of Pinot Noir. So, go ahead and chill that bottle or let it reach room temperature – the choice is yours!

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John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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