Wine is a particular drink. It is produced with great craft and effort and this is what makes it so special. For this reason there are some technical rules that should be followed during serving – from the temperature of wine to the transfusion and the order of serving – as everything has a decisive role to play in its enjoyment.


Each wine type has its own ideal serving temperature, which is usually written on the bottle. However, and in general terms, red wines are served at room temperature, as keeping them in the fridge alters their flavour, while white, rosé and sparkling wines are served cooled, due to their acidity, but never cold.

If wine is very cold, it cannot fully express its aromas. Cooling wine rapidly and in extremely low temperatures is, also, not recommended.

Red wines should not be served warmer than room temperature, as this alters their taste.

Serving temperatures (Celsius)

Wine type Temperature
Sparkling (depending on its characteristics) 6-9°C
White dry wines 8-10°C
White dry wines aged in oak barrel 10-12°C
Rosé wines 10-12°C
Light red wines, nouveau red wines 12-14°C
Red wines of medium body 15-16°C
Rich or aged red wines 16-18°C

The right amount and stirring the glass

For fully enjoying the rich aromas of a fine wine, the amount in which it is served should not exceed 1/3 of the glass. This amount guarantees, on the one hand, the best preservation of the right temperature of the wine and, on the other hand, allows for the emergence of the various shades of its taste. The small amount of wine in the glass also allows for a slightly circular stirring by holding the glass by the stem, making small, quick circles. Stirring precedes tasting, as it helps the wine to “speak up” and express its aromatic properties to a fuller extend.

Ventilation and transfusion

Most red wines can be served directly from the bottle, but some of them benefit from the transfusion process. In this case, after opening the bottle, the wine is poured into a carafe. The transfer of red wines to the carafe aims at their aeration, which in turn helps their aromatic evolution and therefore “rounds” their taste.

Transfusion benefits some young red wines, while it is almost essential in the case of long-aged red wines, which, due to their long stay in the bottle, lack oxygen and are likely to form sediment – a sign of healthy aging and not a defect. Therefore, an aged red wine with a strong concentration and complex bouquet of aromas needs to leave this sediment and eliminate the superficial and unpleasant odour of closure. However, red wines should by all means not be left in the carafe for too long, as they will be subject to over-oxygenation and, therefore, the destruction of the multidimensional bouquet that they had been patiently composing for years.

Serving order

The quality of wine served at a meal follows a progressive order. Sparkling wine is served first, as an apéritif before the guests sit at the table. Like a well-written prologue, apéritif awakens the senses, intrigues and prepares guests for a great meal. A complete wine meal begins with light white wines, continues with whites with a fuller body, rosé, light reds, reds with high tannins and ends with dessert wines. In case of succession of different wines (e.g. white wine and then red wine), glasses should be replaced before serving the next wine.

However, if, for example, you choose to serve only white wine, it is best to start with the lightest and move on to the fuller wines, which have been aged in oak barrels. This is the case with red wines, too; dessert wines such as Moschato and Commandaria are served at the end, as a beautiful closure to a good meal.

[1] This does not apply to a Cyprus’ house room temperature, but any temperature under 20°C.