The most essential etiquette considerations on how to serve and drink Tempranillo. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

Tempranillo wine

What Tempranillo etiquette is

Tempranillo etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and drink Tempranillo wines. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Tempranillo etiquette to appropriately serve it to your guests.

If you are a guest, respect Tempranillo etiquette rules to properly drink and enjoy it.

What you should know about Tempranillo

Tempranillo is a variety of black grapes. It is used to make red wine. Large producers are Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Chile, and the United States.

Tempranillo wines tend to be ruby to dark red in color. They are usually full-bodied wines, with rich aromas and fruity notes.

how to serve and drink Tempranillo

Etiquette tips to serve and drink Tempranillo

1) How to store Tempranillo

Store Tempranillo in a cool and dry place. The temperature should be constant. 

Place the bottles in a horizontal position. Keep them away from sources of heat. The bottles should not be exposed to direct light, natural or artificial. 

Do not store Tempranillo in the fridge or in the freezer. Both are too cold and will spoil the wine.

After opening it, drink Tempranillo within three or four days. Do not keep it longer. 

2) How to prepare Tempranillo

Most Tempranillo wines are full-bodied with an intense aroma. Thus, they usually benefit from decanting. The contact with the oxygen makes the texture and flavors of the wine more gentle to the palate.

Before serving, pour the full bottle of wine into a decanter. Then, let the wine breathe. The amount of time needed for decanting depends on the wine and on personal tastes. Try between 20 and 30 minutes for medium-bodied Tempranillo wines. Let full-bodied wines breathe for between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

You do not need to refrigerate Tempranillo wines before serving.

Avoid chilling glasses in the fridge. The condensation waters down the wine and dilutes its taste.

3) How to serve & present Tempranillo

Serve Tempranillo wines at room temperature. The ideal temperature is about 18°C (65°F). Cooler temperatures prevent the wine from releasing its aroma. Thus, do not put the bottle in the fridge. Similarly, do not keep the bottle in an ice bucket.

Present Tempranillo in a decanter or in its bottle. On formal occasions, it is best to present the wine in its bottle, even if you let it decant first. After decanting it, pour the wine back into its bottle using a small kitchen funnel.

Hold the bottle by its body, never by its neck or cork. Serve Tempranillo in red wine glasses, which have a larger belly compared to white wine glasses. Fill the glass between ⅓ and ½.

4) When to serve & drink Tempranillo

Tempranillo wines can be appropriate for formal or informal occasions. Such as a formal dinner or a drinking party.

You can serve Tempranillo wines for an aperitivo, pre-meal drinks, during a meal, or after dinner. Tempranillo wines are often relatively high in alcohol content. Thus, they might not be ideal for lunch, brunch, or a picnic.

During a meal, you can serve Tempranillo to accompany a flavor-rich course or a cheese platter.

5) Food & aromas to pair Tempranillo with

Tempranillo wines tend to pair well with strong flavors. 

Pair Tempranillo with red meat, steaks, burgers, lamb, or pork. It can go well with roasted or grilled chicken or poultry. 

Avoid pairing Tempranillo with delicate flavors. Do not pair it with fish or seafood. 

Tempranillo can accompany seasoned cheeses that are medium or low in salt. Such as Manchego or Pecorino. It can match well with goat cheeses too.

6) How to drink Tempranillo

Drink Tempranillo in red wine chalices. Hold the glass by its stem to avoid warming the wine with your hand.

Drink it in small sips. A glass of Tempranillo should last between 15 and 30 minutes. Never drink shots of Tempranillo.

Do not add ice to Tempranillo. First, ice waters down the wine and its bouquet. Furthermore, ice is usually added to low-quality or cheap beverages. Thus, adding ice can be seen as an offense to the quality of the wine, and therefore to your host.

Tempranillo etiquette worst mistakes

Tempranillo etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst Tempranillo etiquette mistakes. 

  • 10/10. Getting drunk.
  • 7/10. Drinking shots.
  • 7/10. Pairing Tempranillo with delicate aromas.
  • 6/10. Not holding the glass by the stem. 
  • 5/10. Adding ice.

Additional information for properly serving Tempranillo

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

The calories in Tempranillo wines depend on the grape mix, alcohol volume, region, and production method.

In general, Tempranillo wines contain about 84 calories per 100 ml (3.5 oz). An individual serving is a red wine glass of 150 ml (5 oz). It contains 126 calories.

How to buy the best Tempranillo

A crucial factor in Tempranillo etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.


Tempranillo wines are available all year round.

Choose the best

Tempranillo wines can vary greatly in quality.

The most popular Tempranillo wines tend to come from the noble wine regions of Spain. La Rioja. Ribera del Duero. Rueda. 

Alternatives to Tempranillo

As a substitute for Tempranillo wines, consider other medium-bodied red wines. Merlot. Malbec. Syrah.