In this festive year end period, Blogwines gives you the perfect advice on the art of wine serving.
What is the perfect temperature to serve the wine at?
Conserved ideally at 15°C (59°F), it shall not be served at more than 18°C (64°F) for red wine and 12°C (53°F) if it is a white wine or champagne.
If the wine is served too cold, the flavours will be anesthezised and the acidity emphasided.
Inversely, if it is served too warm, the alcohol and fat will be enhanced and the wine will seem heavier.
Cool a wine bottle in less than one hour
If you have only one hour left to refresh your wine, immerse the bottle in a bucket with very cold water (with ice) and add a handle of salt which will help to get the water cool faster. For the white wine or sparkling wine, you can put the bottle in the freezer for 15/20 minutes.
In which order should you serve the guests?
Traditionnally, we begin by the oldest to youngest women, then the men in the same order.
In which order can you serve the different wines?
The order is really important. We usually start with the lightest wines, lively and young. then you can go to more concentrated, strong and old wines.
Enjoy the bubbles firstly, then dry white wines (or even rosés), following with red wines and you can finish with the sweet ones. If you want to organise a wine tasting with very high quality wines, then avoid serving strong alcohol first (e.g. whisky or pastis or even a porto) or close to the start. This would get the taste buds sedated..
How many wines for the meal?
If the aim of the meal is to enjoy nice wine bottles, then you will need a minimum of 3 bottles for a three course dinner and 6 persons. For instance, one white wine for the aperitif and starter, one red wine bottle for the main course and then one of light or sweet wine for the dessert.
Important to note: a bottle usually contains 6 glasses of wine.
Pour into a carafe or let the wine decant?
Pouring into a carafe is usually done to oxygenate the young or tannic red wines. This process will help to release the flavours. It can also help to get an eventual residue (specific to the young red wines) to disappear. You can pour the wines in their respective carafe 1 to 3 hours before serving them. The time will depend on the wine powerfulness. To do so, use a carafe with a broad bottom and with a flared bottleneck, as this will give a bigger contact zone between the air and the wine.
Decanting process is more of a concern for older red wines and helps eliminate the depots appearing with the natural effect of time. To do so, put the bottle in a vertical position for few hours before the meal. Then, few minutes before serving the wine, pour it delicately in a narrow carafe and barely plumly. Do not pour the wine too many hours in advance as it might get the wine quality deteriored by the oxygen. Also, when you serve the wine, do not bow too much the bottle in order to keep the depots at the bottom of the bottle and not in the glasses.
How to clean the carafe?
Rinse the carafe with hot water, fill it with hot water plus soap and also add of teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicabonate). Leave it for 30mn and shake it a bit from time to time. Then empty the carafe and rinse it properly with hot water, drain it and fill the carafe with several sheets of absorbent paper. Ensure that they reach the carafe bottom. Leave it like this for few hours until all the water drops are absorbed.
You are now you are ready to amaze your guests! Enjoy!