Tips for serving wine like a professional
It’s all well and good finding the perfect wine, but how about serving it like a pro?
There’s a lot more to serving wine than simply taking the cork out of the bottle and filling up the glass. Preparing and serving wine requires knowledge, skill and attention to detail. The quality of wine and the way in which it is served is a vital part of the experience.
The basics on serving wine including tips from picking the right wine glasses to pouring wine without spilling. Some of these tips will even improve the flavor of wine. These tips will help you serve it like an expert, impress your friends and family, and get the most out of your wine.
Here are the top things to consider when serving wine:
1. Preparation is key for special bottles
If you have an older bottle of red wine that you’re ready to drink, don’t go for it straight away. Instead let it stand vertically for at least a couple of days to allow any fine sediment to settle at the bottom. Then, taking care not to disturb the sediment, you should decant the wine gently over a candle (an iPhone torch can be effective too!) until you start to see cloudiness at the bottom of the neck. That should leave you with a clear, bright wine with more purity of flavour!
2. Choosing the Right Glassware
Selecting suitable glassware plays a crucial role in maximizing the aroma and flavors of red wine. Opt for large, tulip-shaped glasses with ample room to swirl the wine and allow it to breathe. The broader bowl at the base of the glass helps capture the wine’s aromas while the tapered rim focuses them towards your nose.
Did you know?The larger the glass, the more air the wine gets, awakening the hidden aromas.
Decanting red wine is often recommended, especially for full-bodied or older wines. Decanters help separate the wine from any sediment and allow it to breathe, enhancing its flavors. Carefully pour the wine into the decanter, ensuring a smooth transfer while leaving any sediment behind in the bottle.
4. Serving Temperature
Temperature greatly influences the taste of red wine. Serve lighter reds, such as Pinot Noir, at around 12-14°C (54-57°F). For medium-bodied reds like Merlot or Sangiovese, aim for 15-17°C (59-63°F). Full-bodied reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah, are best enjoyed slightly warmer, around 18-20°C (64-68°F). Adjust the serving temperature according to personal preference.
5. Opening the Bottle
When opening a bottle of red wine, handle it gently to avoid agitation. Use a foil cutter or a knife to remove the foil cleanly just below the lip of the bottle. Insert the corkscrew slightly off-center and twist it smoothly until the cork is fully extracted. Remember to pull the cork out gently, ensuring it doesn’t break or crumble.
Did you know? More than half of the world’s cork comes from Portugal. Natural cork is still used in around 80% of wine bottles.
6. Pouring the Wine
Hold the bottle by the base or the lower part of the neck to avoid warming the wine with your hands. Tilt the glass slightly and pour the wine into the center, allowing it to cascade gently against the inside of the glass.
7. Don’t overfill the glass
It varies by glass size and shape but, in general, you should pour about a quarter to a third of the way up. That again allows the air to get to the wine, particularly if you swill it gently, encouraging the release of aromas but it also means that the wines aren’t warming up too much sitting in the glass.
8. Avoid stemless glasses
They’re great for reducing breakages at parties, as the join between the stem and bowl is the most fragile point, but holding the glass rapidly warms the wine. If you do have to use them, re-fill sparingly…and often.
9. Allowing the Wine to Breathe
After pouring, give the wine a few moments to breathe. Swirl the glass gently to introduce oxygen and release the wine’s aromas. This step helps open up the flavors.
10. Enjoying the Wine
Sip and savor the wine slowly, allowing it to coat your palate and reveal its complexity. Take note of the wine’s flavors, aromas, body, and balance. Pair it with complementary foods if desired, as the right pairing can elevate both the wine and the culinary experience.
Remember…the joy of red wine lies in its nuances and the journey it takes you on.
By following these steps, you can enhance your appreciation for red wine and elevate your overall wine-drinking experience.
Cheers to the pleasures of red wine!