No matter how you feel about wine, it’s always impressive to be able to serve it well. Wine is a complex drink with a lot of rules and traditions surrounding it, and if you can navigate those waters confidently, you’ll make your guests feel like they’re in good hands. Plus, knowing how to serve wine correctly will make you look like an expert – even if you’re not.
If you’re looking to up your wine serving game, here are some basic tips that will help get you started.
Learn the proper way to open a bottle of wine
There’s a right way and a wrong way to open a bottle of wine, and if you want to impress your guests, you’ll make sure to do it the right way. First, cut off the foil that’s covering the top of the bottle with a sharp knife – you don’t want to rip it or tear it when you’re trying to open the bottle.
Next, take off the cork carefully – a corkscrew is one of the best tools for this step. When you have your beverages chilled properly, bottle openers and corkscrews help ensure that a bottle of wine can be opened easily and with minimal fuss. To successfully remove the cork, you’ll need to twist the corkscrew into the cork, making sure that the handle is parallel to the floor. Once your corkscrew is in place, slowly pull up on it so that the cork comes out of the bottle with ease.
Make sure your wine glasses are clean and dry
This sounds simple, but it’s an often-overlooked step when serving wine – and one that can make a huge difference in how your guests experience the drink. Wipe down your glasses thoroughly before pouring any wine into them, and make sure they’re completely dry before you start pouring. Not only will this ensure that your wine is not tainted by any residue from the glass, but it will also help to enhance the flavour of your wine and make it more enjoyable for your guests.
You can also invest in high-quality wine glasses that are specifically designed for serving, which will further enhance the drinking experience. Cheap, flimsy glasses will not only make your wine taste bad, but they can also be dangerous – if they break easily, you or your guests could end up getting hurt. Choose wine glasses that are made of high-quality materials and are designed to be durable.
Consider your serving temperature
Different wines should be served at different temperatures, so it’s important to do some research and find out what the ideal serving temperature is for the wine you’re pouring. Many people make the mistake of serving whites too warm and reds too cold, which can drastically affect the flavour of the wine.
To correctly serve your wine, you may also want to invest in a wine thermometer or other temperature-monitoring tool so that you can accurately control the temperature at which it’s served. If possible, opt for a cool room with lower temperatures for storing and serving white wines, and for reds, try to store them at a warmer temperature so that they will be decently warm by the time you serve them.
Pay attention to the presentation
When it comes to serving wine, presentation is key. Whether you’re serving your drinks in an elaborate crystal glassware set or just pouring them straight out of the bottle, it’s important to make sure that your wine looks as good as it tastes.
In general, you want to avoid pouring too much wine into each glass – a rule of thumb is to pour about four ounces for each drink. This will leave enough room for your guests to swirl the wine and get a good sniff before taking a sip, and it will also help to prevent them from getting too drunk too quickly.
If you’re using a decanter, make sure to pour the wine into it in a smooth, steady stream so that it doesn’t splash and make a mess. When you’re ready to pour, hold the bottle at an angle and use a gentle pouring motion – you don’t want to pour too fast or too slow.
Finally, remember to garnish each glass with a fresh grape or other fruit before serving. This will not only make your wine look more appealing, but it will also give your guests something to nibble on if they get thirsty in between sips.
The basic tips for improving your wine serving skills are: chill your beverages properly, use a corkscrew or bottle opener, make sure your wine glasses are clean and dry, consider the ideal serving temperature for your wine, pay attention to presentation, and garnish each glass with a fresh grape or other fruit.
Following these tips will help you serve wine like a pro and impress your guests.