Whether you are a beer aficionado or an enologist, there is no denying the fact that the serving temperature means everything when it comes to enjoying your favorite drink. Unfortunately, many people do not understand the delicate balance between the serving temperature and the flavors and mouthfeel from these drinks.
Well, you have come to the right place if you want to know exactly how warm or cold to store or serve your alcoholic beverages of choice. That way, whether you own a pub or are just entertaining guests at your place, you don’t ruin anyone’s experience with warm and flat beer or chilled and tasteless red wine.
Storage and serving temperature guide for beers
Beers can be stored at room temperature if bought in bulk. However, for those being served in the near future, refrigeration is important to get them in the right temperature range. Here are some of the most common types of beers and the ideal temperatures to serve them at.
India Pale Ales (IPA)
India Pale Ale is a favorite in craft beer enthusiast circles. It has been around for centuries and still has a very strong fanbase all over the world. The subtype of pale ale is known for its very intense flavors. While the specific profile depends on the quality of ingredients and the recipes used, most IPAs have a strong, hoppy undertone.
The best way to enjoy these flavors is when the beer is served slightly chilled. If it is too cold, then you will miss out on some of the flavors. If it is too warm on the other hand, the earthy tones are too pronounced and the beer may not be enjoyable. To play it safe, serve it at anywhere between 46 and 50°F.
Pale lagers are known for their medium to full body texture and subtle but enjoyable flavors. They also tend to be highly carbonated. As a result, they need to be served as chilled as possible. With the carbonation in mind, serving it at anything higher than 41°F will lead to a very flat and unexciting mouth feel.
At the same time, if they are served too cold the carbonation may be a little too much to handle and often takes away from the other flavors that need their own time in the spotlight. Therefore, try to avoid going under 37°F.
Pale ales are incredibly popular around the world. They have strong but not overpowering flavors as well as the perfect amount of carbonation for a fizzy thrill. Due to their flavor profile, body, and fizziness level, this is also the most versatile type of beer when it comes to storage and serving temperatures.
The best temperature to serve it at is around 45 to 50°F. However, it is not going to be completely repulsive when served at higher temperatures including room temperature ranges. Here, it is all about personal preference.
Stouts are known for their perfect balance between sweet and bitter. The bitterness can be quite overwhelming especially when the beer is served at near room temperature. If you don’t want to cringe and grit your teeth with every swallow, it is best to serve these at 35 to 40°F. If you must have it warmer, do not cross the 50 degrees mark or it won’t be as enjoyable anymore.
Storage and serving temperature guide for wines
You don’t really have to be a wine snob to know that some wines are never to be served chilled and with others, it is complete sacrilege to serve them at room temperature. After all is said and done, personal preferences do matter a lot. So put those ice cubes in your red wine if you wish or serve the sparkling wine warm.
However, as you will soon see these decisions have a huge impact on the flavor and body of the wine. To avoid missing out on the best part of a good glass, here are the best temperatures to serve different types of wine at.
Red wine is classically served at room temperature, or at 60 to 68°F if you prefer it a bit colder. This is truly the best way to appreciate the deep flavor and heavy bodies of most types of red wines.
There are, however, a few exceptions where serving it chilled is sometimes the best way to go. This includes sweet reds and other light-bodied red wines including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, and Zinfandel just to name a few. With these, you could serve them at 50 to 60 degrees or at room temperature if you wish.
On the other hand, white wine is best served chilled whether it is dry or sweet. The best temperature range here is 44 to 50°F. This allows you to truly appreciate the crisp notes of most white wine grapes whether it is a chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio.
If served at room temperature, dry white wines in particular tend to be a bit bitter which may ruin the experience completely.
These wines fall in the middle between red and white wines, not only in terms of depth and flavor but also ideal serving temperature. They are best served only slightly chilled, with 50 to 55°F being a great temperature to work with. This allows you to enjoy the often more subtle flavors and notes.
Sparkling wines are more often than not sweet or semi-sweet. They are also carbonated, which means they are best served chill to avoid having a flat mouthfeel. The ideal temperature for them would be 40°F. You could also get away with higher temperatures but do not go over 50°F.
In a nutshell
Clearly, temperatures matter a lot when it comes to serving alcohol and they are about more than just personal preferences. Serving wine and beer right allows you and your guests to truly enjoy the full flavor profile and textures.
With all the information we offered, you are more than ready to open that pub or host that cocktail party. Your guests will definitely have a great time.
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