Serving Wine

To Chill or Not to Chill

The temperature at which wine is served is primarily a matter of individual preference, but by popular opinion the various wines are best served at the following temperatures

Type Celsius Fahrenheit
Sweet Sherry 22-27 72-80
Medium Sherry & Port 17-25 62-77
Dry Sherry 12-17 54-62
Dry White Wines 8-15 46-58
Red Wine 16-21 60-70
Red Dessert Wines 11-19 52-66
Rose Wines & Champagne 7-11 44-52
Sweet White Wines (Still & Sparkling) 2-7 36-45

GLASSWARE

Wine glasses made of clear, uncoloured glass, will add to the appreciation and appearance of the wines being served. The glass should have a stem and have a bowl which curves slightly inward at the top.

All Purpose Glass

Satisfactory for all wines, but to truly appreciate certain wines it is recommended to buy a glass suitable for the wine, for more information please refer to wine glass manufacturers like Reidel, Vinum, Wine, and Extreme.

Sherry Glass

Slender and longer in shape, as compared to the all purpose glass, a sherry glass also makes an excellent tasting glass.

Champagne Glass

The closed “flute” shape allows the bubbles in the wine a long rapid and attractive rise. The champagne glass can also be used with any sparkling wine.

Brandy & Liqueur Glass

The closed shape funnels vapour to your nose, while the short stem allows for heating in your hand.

LET IT BREATH

Most reds, especially young red tannic wines like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon require time to breath to reach their full potential. A general rule is one hour of breathing for young reds with the exception of big nasties like Borolo who will require longer periods of breathing to mellow. Simply pulling the cork out won’t do you much good as the volume of air is so small, a decanter is ideal as it has a greater volume and the pouring of the wine aerates it and helps soften or mellow the tannins, pour the wine into the glasses about ten minutes before drinking.

If you purchase a wine with sediment in the bottle, don’t panic, just stand the bottle up a day before opening and when you decant the wine, pour until you reach the sediment.

Some full bodied dry white wines require a half hour of aeration in a decanter, if the wine doesn’t seem to have much aroma or flavour it will dramatically improve with aeration, just watch the temperature.

THE DESTROYERS OF GOOD

WINE Nothing will destroy good wine like detergent, improper cellaring, improper storage of leftover wine and barometric pressure.

Detergent

A filmy residue left on a wine glass will effect the aroma and taste of a wine, especially if it is perfumed. It is better to clean your wine glasses by hand using baking soda or borax/washing soda, borax won’t cake up and they won’t leave a soapy residue, and let them air dry, put the towel down, let them air dry. If you must use your dishwasher, use a detergent with no additives and send the glasses through a second rinse.

Leftover Wine

Leftover will spoil if exposed to too much oxygen and heat, if the cork will fit back in the bottle, put it in and set it in the fridge, this should give you a few days before the wine spoils. There are devices that are more reliable at protecting wine, ranging from small vacuum pumps to the most reliable of all, cans of inert gas that pump a small amount of gas into the bottle and as the gas is heavier than oxygen it forms a barrier between the wine and the oxygen, just cork the bottle and your done.

Wine Cellar by Gatsby's List

Storing Wine

If you are serious about keeping wine, you must keep the wine in very specific conditions or it will fill you with disappointment from going off. The temperature must be below 15C (60 F) and must be constant; fluctuations of more than a few degrees are harmful to aging wine. The humidity must be above 75% year round and the cellar must be free from vibration.

Barometric Pressure

Atmospheric pressure actually affects some red wines, heavier pressure and high humidity will influence the taste by making the wine appear heavy, flat and lifeless. So save your favorite full bodied reds for days of low humidity and cooler temperatures and try something lighter in the humid, hot, summer time.