Is there a correct temperature to serve wine?

It might be time to change the way you serve your wines

There are a lot of opinions on the best temperature to serve wines. We all know that the right temperature can make or break the drinking experience and there are a lot of books, experts and guides to serving it right. But are they actually giving you the information that you really need to give the customer what they want?

A lot of restaurants know all the details about where their wines come from and how they are pressed but they don’t seem to pay a lot of attention to how it is served. Did you know that serving it at a bottle of red at room temperature of 22 to 25 degrees could spoil the taste? The phrase room temperature is misleading because the principle originated centuries ago when rooms were cooler. It is actually best to keep a red below 18ºC.

With white wine, serve it between 7ºC to 13ºC and try not to go any cooler. When wine is too cool the flavours can be disguised and if it gets too warm the taste of the alcohol can become too strong.

But it is not just the local pizzeria that can make these slip ups, some of the best restaurants that have their own sommelier and more wine options than food can make mistakes. Sometimes thinking outside the box can bring a better experience for your customer. Here are two tips that will bring a smile to your customers face.

  1. Think about the temperature the wine will be drunk at and not the temperature of the wine when it is still in the bottle. We like to keep our white wine at 6ºC in our dispensers to help assure that when it is poured out in a glass at room temperature it can keep cool for the longest time (did you know wine of 6 degrees poured in a glass at room temperature warms up 1.5 to 2 degrees in 30 seconds?). Remember it is easier to warm wines up a bit by leaving it in the glass for a while than to cool them down.
  2. The customer is king. If you assume the customers preference for their wine temperature it can ruin their drinking experience. We all know that Sommeliers know the perfect temperature that wine should be served, but the customer might like their Riesling extra cold. The easiest way to jump this hurdle is to simply ask the customer how they prefer their wine served while advising them about the traditional drinking temperature.

Breweries such as inbev and Heineken both have had success with their “Extra Cold” lager options because customers like to decide for themselves the best temperature to drink their beer. Why not do the same for wines? You cold even offer a pre-chilled glass for white wine, which could just be the thing that is needed to make a good experience great.

Being knowledgeable on the tradition temperatures is key but take our advice and experiment and ask your customers what they think. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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