How To Serve Wine
Getting into wine is, surely, a true sign of adulthood. Long gone are the days of you practicing your best Jägerbomb train in the kitchen (and subsequently making a mess), and instead you’ve got wine coolers galore and have already familiarized yourself with our guide to wine tips for beginners. But it’s about more than just knowing all about popular types of wine and spouting the health benefits of wine to anybody who’ll listen. You’ve got to know the right way to serve it for when you have guests over. To save you any embarrassment and help you prove you’re not all talk, we’ve put together this useful how to serve wine depending on the type.
Why Is It Important To Serve Wine Correctly?
Wine experts will tell you it’s about more than merely having a good wine, and a lot of the experience depends on how it is stored and served.
Wine that’s too hot or too cold can hinder its taste and quality. Likewise, wine served in the wrong glass means it doesn’t have the chance to breathe and therefore means you miss out on important flavor notes that take the tasting experience to the next level.
Maybe you’re not a wine lover, but this could have more to do with how you’ve had it served than how you enjoy it. Understanding why it’s important to store and serve different wine types correctly could transform your drinking habits into something you’ve never experienced.
How To Serve Different Wines
Not all wines require the same storing and serving process and knowing how to store the different types will ensure better satisfaction and likely a livelier party.
Experts will tell you to serve white wine at 53℉ / 11.6℃ and in a small glass with a stem (not a pint glass or a mug, heathens). The size of the bowl helps to preserve the aromas and maintain the temperature, which is cooler than red wine.
However, not all white wines need to be served in small-bowled glasses, and full-bodied options such as Chardonnay demand a larger, more rounded bowl. This gives the wine a ‘creamier’ texture because of a wider mouth, which may make it easier to drink for beginners.
For light-bodied wines, however, a slim glass that’s somewhere between a flute and a wide bowled glass is better. It expresses the acidity better and also ensures it delivers more aromas straight to you as it’s closer to the nose. For many wine lovers, this is an essential part of the wine drinking experience, and if neglected, you may not enjoy the wine as you hoped.
We know the standard rule is to serve white wine chilled and red at room temperature. But while this rule is a useful base, it’s not always accurate because of varying room temperatures, locales, and altitudes. Instead, we recommend serving red wine at 62℉ / 16.6℃, although different reds will vary.
Red wine should be served in one of two glasses depending on whether it’s full or light bodied. Large glasses are ideal for Bordeaux as it allows better aroma compound delivery and also tastes smoother thanks to the wide opening.
For medium to heavy reds like Shiraz, a standard wine glass is better as the rounder bowl collects aromas for a more satisfying scent and therefore more enjoyment.
While most people turn their noses up at Rosé, it’s still a wine you may come across. This wine is best served at 51℉ / 10.5°C. The glass is usually taller than those you would use for red wine with a longer stem but smaller base. Because you don’t get the same aromas with Rosé as you do with heavier reds, the opening is smaller, and with more progressive tongue contact, you get softened flavors.
Rosé is a decent starter wine for most people, especially if they’ve never been too keen on wine and it’s often cheaper, which is always a good way to entice newbies.
Finally, sparkling wine should be served at 48℉ / 8.8℃ in a champagne flute over a standard wine glass. The bubbly sensation of these wines reacts best in the shape and also keeps it cooler. Out of all wines, this should be served coldest, and the correct flute ensures you don’t warm the wine by holding onto the glass.
If you want to go for broke with your wine serving potential, investing in a range of decanters will take your serving to the next level. While decanting is most associated with red wine, you can decant any type without harming the flavor and quality, and in most cases, it will improve it.
Put A Cork In It
Knowing how to serve wine correctly will not only make you look like an expert, it will also help you better appreciate the fine vintages you bring out either on special occasions, or just to relax at the end of another exhausting week.