One person prefers to drink his beer or wine ice cold, the other at room temperature.

Still, the temperature of your drink affects the taste more than you might think.

A beer and wine connoisseur explain how that works.

During his training sessions, beer sommelier Ivo Thijssen pours beer at room temperature.

"That's when all the flavors, ingredients and aromas come in the most. But of course that does not mean that it is best at that temperature."

What someone likes best varies enormously.

The fact is: the colder the drink, the less you taste.

"Temperature is often also part of the experience. Many people enjoy - especially on a warm day - the refreshment of cold beer", says Thijssen.

"And in the fall, a slightly less cold beer has a warming effect."

Alcohol percentage as serving temperature

A good rule, according to Thijssen, is to use the alcohol percentage of the beer as the ideal serving temperature.

"Pilseners and lagers come into their own when they are drunk a little colder, specialty beer when they are drunk less cold."

The ideal serving temperature for beer:

  • Pilsener: 4 to 6 degrees

  • White beer: 4 to 6 degrees

  • Blonde: 5 to 7 degrees

  • Weizen: 5 to 7 degrees

  • Double: 6 to 8 degrees

  • Triple: 6 to 8 degrees

  • IPA: 6 to 8 degrees

But how do you do that at home when the refrigerator is 4 degrees?

"For example, get your bokbeer out of the fridge half an hour before you start drinking it. And think ahead. Get your next one out on time."

Thijssen also has his beer at the top of the fridge, where it is slightly less cold.

Playing with the temperature of wine

Temperature also influences the smell and taste of wine: the colder, the less taste.

"Aromas, sour, sweet and alcohol are more balanced when a wine is served at the right temperature," explains registered vinologist Angélique Chamboné.

With a wine that is too cold, you will smell less aromas and you will taste the acids and fruit less.

With red wine, the tannins, the tannic acid of the skins and seeds, can harden.

This gives more bitters in the wine.

A wine that is too warm also loses its fruitiness, so that the alcohol comes out more strongly.

The wine becomes somewhat bulky and heavier.

According to Chamboné, it is better to serve wine a little too cold than a little too hot, after all, the wine heats up quickly in the glass.

The ideal serving temperature of wine (with examples):

  • Semi-dry fresh white wine (Colombard, Verdejo): 7 to 9 degrees

  • Dry fresh white wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Grigio): 8 to 10 degrees

  • Dry full white wine (Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc): 10 to 12 degrees

  • Sweet white wine (Moscato d'Asti, Sauternes): 10 to 12 degrees

  • Sparkling wine (Champagne, Cava, MCC, Prosecco): 8 to 10 degrees

  • Rosé: 8 to 10 degrees

  • Light fresh red wine (Beaujolais, Pinot Noir, Cinsault): 14 to 16 degrees

  • Full, solid red wine (Tempranillo, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon): 16 to 18 degrees

  • Sweet red wine, (Port, Banyuls): 12 to 14 degrees

It is very easy to play with the temperature, according to the registered vinologist.

"If you find a wine too sweet, you can keep it cold for 15 minutes. Then it will appear much fresher and less sweet. And a more fruity red wine tastes even more fruity by serving it a little colder."

According to Chamboné, you can easily test that a few degrees already makes a huge difference by cooling a red wine a few degrees and starting to drink it with the starter.

"The temperature rises slowly and you can experience how the taste changes when you arrive at the main course."