How to serve your wine

A bottle of mature red wine is decanted into a decanter so that it can breathe
A bottle of mature red wine is decanted into a decanter so that it can breathe

Are you preparing an event, and you want to impress your guests with proper wine etiquette? Or are you just looking to enjoy a saved bottle of vintage red in the perfect conditions? Whatever your intentions are, we will share with you all the guidelines to serving wine the “right way.”

Unless serving wine is your profession, you can adapt and experiment with these guidelines to see what your personal preferences are. After all, the ultimate goal is to have a good time!

#1 Keep the wine at proper temperatures

Keep the bottle in a too warm or too cold environment, and wine can drastically lose its flavor and aroma. Before your event, store this beverage at temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A wine chiller or wine fridge is ideal to ensure the correct temperature for your wine. When it’s time to serve, take into account the ideal temperature for each type of wine. As a guideline, sparkling wines are served ice-cold, white wines chilled, and red wines at room temperature.

#2 Serve the wine in the proper glass

When you are organizing an event with very sophisticated guests, it’s vital to learn about proper glass shapes for each kind of wine. There are specific wine glasses for popular types of wine like Cabernet, Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay made for optimal tasting. High-end restaurants will always offer the proper container for each one.

However, if you are just having guests over, stocking up with a bottle of white wine, a red wine, and a sparkling wine glass set is more than enough. Reds are served in big rounded glasses with a larger opening, while whites taste best when served in a small-bowled glass. Finally, for sparkling wine, choose a taller and thinner glass with a small opening.

#3 Decant the red wine

Decanting is a mandatory process for bottles of red wine older than five years. This is because old reds tend to develop sediment that is bitter and needs to be removed. In case you have this type of wine on your serving list, make sure to flash a light at the bottom of the bottle and check for the sediment. When pouring the wine in the decanter or wine pitcher, pour slowly and make sure to stop when the sediment reaches the neck of the bottle. Let the wine aerate for 30 to 45 minutes before pouring it into glasses. You can find a great list of wine decanters and wine aerators on our website.

Decanting is recommended for all types of reds and even some full-bodied whites that benefit from the aeration. The only exception is extremely old wine, which is fragile and loses its flavor quite quickly.

#4 Serve wines in the right order

If you are planning to serve more than one type of wine, then it’s customary to respect a certain order. Start with a light-bodied white before the meal, followed up by a full-bodied red during the meal, and finish off with a dessert wine as a delectable conclusion. However, you can change the order of serving depending on the food you are serving and the flavor of the beverage.

When in doubt, ask the wine store clerks their opinion on the specific wine you are buying. Putting these four tips into practice will be sure to impress your guests and improve their wine tasting experience!

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