Etiquette for Wine Tasting and Serving

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007 at 12:00 am

wine servingBelieve it or not, when you’re drinking wine you need to observe certain rules or certain etiquettes. You need to understand, however, that present etiquettes are not as rigid and as antiquated as you might think. There are some current rules being observed by wine drinkers which we encourage that you follow wince we don’t drink wine on a daily basis in the first place. Also, by following a few rules when you drink wine makes the whole drinking process more sense and makes the event more special as well.

Storing wine

First thing that you should observe is the right way of storing your wine. Wine is not like any drink in a sense that you just can’t serve it too cold or definitely serve it warm. The taste of the wine is quickly affected by the sudden or frequent changes in its environment particularly the temperature. The proper temperature can hide the defects of a wine and at the same time highlights the best part of it.

For sparkling wine, temperatures between 42 to 54 degree Fahrenheit (6-10 degree Celsius) are the best temperatures for storing the wine. White wines are better stored in environments that are between 48-58 degree F (9-14 degree C) while Reds are best stored in temperatures of 57-68 degree F (13-20 degree C). You should remember that when placed in an averaged refrigerator it takes an average of ten minutes for the wine to drop by 4F (2C). Meanwhile, it will also take the same time for the wine to warm up by 4F (2C) when placed at room temperature. Also keep in mind that heat is generally bad for wine.

Opening wine bottle

Now, when opening the wine you should also follow certain rules. For reds, never uncork or open the wine more than an hour before you drink it. By opening the wine an hour before, you allow it to oxidize which brings forth the true taste of the wine. On the other hand, it is ideal for whites to be opened just before it is served or before you drink it since whites will tend to lose more wine spirit the longer you let it stay open at room temperature.

We could probably spend a whole article discussing corks and capsules, the latter covers the area where the cork is located and is made from metal foil, but in essence you just need to check if the wine has been sipping through the cork, and if the cork has grown molds on the top. It is not at all a problem though, you an simply clean the cork with a wet rag and include the top of the bottle as well. The wine inside is usually not affected by the what’s happening on the outside. However, leakage can be troublesome since the wine’s spirit is also leaking out and the taste will eventually be affected.

Using various devices to open or uncork your wine bottle is a matter of preference really. Some would prefer using corkscrews while others like cork pullers instead. Just go with the one you like since as far as I know it doesn’t really matter what device you use to open the bottle.

Decanting wine

Decanting a wine, on the other hand, has been more of an issue rather than the process of opening the bottle. To decant a wine means basically to pour the wine without disturbing the sediments in the bottle. Some restaurants have made a great deal out of it but often for good reasons. Red wines especially the vintage ones can collect a pretty good deal of sediments at the bottom of the bottle which can be highly bitter. Decanting such wines might be the best option for you to taste the true essence of the wine.

Pouring wine

When pouring your wine, it is ideal that you don’t fill it more than two-thirds or even halfway. If you’re going to sample a wine, you need to pour far less amounts on your glass. And speaking of glass, use the appropriate wine glass. Large-rimmed glasses are better for reds while more narrow and thin glasses bring out the classic traits of white wine.


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