When it comes to serving wine, there are several things you can do to elevate the overall experience. This includes ensuring the wine has been adequately stored in a freestanding wine fridge for example, opened the correct way, served in the right glass and poured at the perfect temperature. Whether you’re hosting casual drinks with friends or a formal dinner party with colleagues, the following tips will ensure that you are serving wine properly and impressively.
Here's The Basics of Serving Wine
Temperature plays a huge role in determining how the wine tastes. Due to the delicate composition of wine, it is highly susceptible to temperature influence- meaning it will taste completely different warm as it will when cool. The ideal temperature of wine will depend entirely on the type of wine it is. For example, white wine is best served between 44 and 57 degrees Fahrenheit, whilst red wine is best served between 53 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit (slightly below room temperature). On the other hand, sparkling wines are best served between 38 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to ensure that your wine is served at the right temperature would be to invest in a wine cooler. You can even buy wine coolers that are designed to store several types of wine, so they will feature multi-temperature zones.
If you are going to be serving white or sparkling wine and there is no time for regular refrigeration, there are a number of fool-proof methods that will allow you to accelerate the wine cooling process. One of these methods is to submerge the bottle of wine in a bucket or container of water. Because water if the most efficient thermal conductor, this method will allow you to chill your wine in under 15-20 minutes. Another method you could try is wrapping the wine bottle in a damp towel and placing it in the freezer. This will chill the bottle a lot quicker as the cooling process is sped up through water evaporation.
Choosing the right glassware is extremely important when it comes to serving your wine. This is because the glass will have a significant impact on the wine’s appearance, aroma and taste. Ideally, your wine glasses will be composed of light, clear glass. The glasses should also have a thin rim and a wide bowl-shaped tapering. This will allow the wine itself to move around and the aromas to distribute evenly through the glass. The stem of the glass should also be long enough to hold comfortably. If your wine glass is too heavy or thick-cut, the colour of the wine will not appear as rich. These types of glasses can also be uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time.
Opening The Wine Bottle
Whilst the way you open your wine bottle will not have a profound effect on the wine’s taste, there are a few ways to do it that will impress your guests! Here are a few tips that will make you look and feel like a sommelier:
Removing the capsule: The capsule of the wine bottle should be cut at the lower part of the bottle’s neck. You should cut it from both the back and the front without moving the bottle. If the bottle is sealed with foil, you should cut it at the top of the lip and remove.
Removing the cork: When removing the cork with a screw, you should poke the cork straight into the middle, with the metal pivot pointing towards the left-hand side. You should twist the cork approximately 5 times until a singular spiral loop can be seen at the top. You will need to ensure not to twist the cork too much as this can cause unwanted pieces of cork to fall into the wine. You should rest the first notch of the lever on to the tip of the bottle, hold the lever flat against the wine bottle and then use the second notch of the lever to gently lift out the cork.
Whilst the amount of wine you drink is entirely up to you, there are a few measurement guidelines to help you pour like a professional. A bottle of wine typically contains approximately 25 ounces of wine. Due to this, it is very common for that bottle to contain 5 servings. Whilst the average wine glass can hold around 17-25oz, that extra room is designed to hold the aromas. The extra space also gives ample room for swirling the wine whilst avoiding spillage. With this in mind, you should always avoid pouring over the suggested marker or the widest point of the glass.
Decanting is the process of removing any sediment from the bottle that has been deposited over time. From young to old wine, red wine to white wine and even roses, the majority of wine types can be decanted and almost all will benefit from the process. With this being said, decanting is only really necessary with wines that have been kept in storage for long periods of time. It is also much more necessary with strong, red wines. The decanting process increases oxygen exposure to the wine which can greatly improve the taste of the wine by releasing its aromas. The classic way to do this is to pour the red wine slowly at an angle of 45 degrees into a decanter or a pitcher glass approximately 30-45 minutes before serving. You should stop decanting when you see sediment approaching the lip of the bottle. Decanting can be done up to four hours before it is consumed, however, you should try and recork or consume the wine within 18 hours to avoid oxidization.
Related Read: 9 Wines That Tastes Like Grape Juice
Wine Storage And Preservation
The storage of wine can greatly affect its taste, which is why it is so important to ensure it is stored correctly. When wine is improperly stored, it is prone to spoiling and losing the quality of taste. Wine should be stored in a cool, dry place with a constant, maintained temperature. The wine should also be kept out of direct sunlight and free from both humidity fluctuations and vibrations.
Temperature fluctuation can be extremely damaging to wine as heat can change the pressure of the bottle. If the bottle becomes too hot, the bottle will expand, and the cork will begin to loosen. Once the cork loosens, the bottle will become susceptible to leaking and the wine will become susceptible to oxidization. Elevated levels of humidity can be extremely damaging to wine as it can encourage the growth of mould and mildew. Furthermore, vibrations can also be incredibly damaging to wine as they will disturb the sediment at the bottom of the bottle and cause complex chemical reactions.
In order to ensure that your wine is protected from all of these threats, ideally, you should invest in a wine cooler. The wine cooler will work to create the perfect storage conditions for your wine, and as long it is installed correctly and out of direct sunlight, it is very unlikely that you will encounter any issues regarding the wine’s development. If you do not have a wine cooler, you should always ensure that your wine bottles are stored horizontally in order to keep the cork moist and the wine free from oxidization.
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