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How to Serve Wine Like a Pro

SS Member Image By   ajr1005
05.14.10
How to Serve Wine Like a Pro

Anyone can serve wine like a professional sommelier. Like any “home improvement,” there are simply a few steps you will need to follow:

-Serve Wine at the Perfect Temperature 

-Open a Bottle Like a Pro

-Decant Like a Pro

-Serve Like a Pro

 

Serve Wine at the Perfect Temperature

To simplify the key takeaways, we serve our white wines too cold and red wines too warm in the U.S. Whites should be served between 43 and 52ºF Lighter bodied, younger whites should be colder than fuller bodied, oaked whites. Serving whites colder smoothes the alcoholic edge and makes the drink more pleasant.

Red should be served between 54ºF for fruity Beaujolais to 65ºF for complex Bordeaux
Go by body: medium bodied reds falls in the middle, around 60ºF ? Merlot. Serving reds cool but not cold rounds a tannic edge but still allows the full nose to blossom in the glass.

We at The Daily Sip? have reviewed numerous “quick-cooling” devices that you can explore at www.bottlenotes.com/dailysip. Nonetheless, the easiest way to cool your wines remains an old-fashioned ice bucket/ice bath. To create the optimal chilling experience, fill the ice bucket with ice and a little bit of water. Place the entire bottle in the ice bath. Whites should be properly chilled in 10-15 minutes, while reds only should need five minutes.

Open a Bottle Like a Pro

The reason servers use those funky corkscrews with an “elbow”- a hinge-joint- is because these are ironically the easiest corkscrews to use to open a bottle of wine.

These are the three steps required to open the bottle like a Somm:

  1. Open the foil cutter and cut on the first level of the lip ? it looks nicer to leave the rest of the foil on the bottle
  2. Insert the twisty part of the corkscrew into the center of the cork. Twist it in, but not all the way through the cork because you don’t want any cork bits to fall into your wine.
  3. Pull out the cork in a two-part process:
    a.   Use the 1st level of the lever to push the cork a little bit out
    b.   Use the 2nd level to get the cork all the way out

Decant Like a Pro

Decanting wines is the most sure-fire way to get them properly aerated before consumption, thereby maximizing the tasting experience. Decanting old wines has the added bonus of allowing all the sediment to settle in a decanter, thus helping to avoid sediment in the glass.  And of  course, pouring wine from decanters is an esthetically beautiful at a dinner party.
Quick Tips for Decanting:

  1. When you pour wine into a decanter, usually pour it against the side of the decanter to avoid splashing.
  2. When you finish pouring a bottle into a decanter, remember to give your wrist a little twist at the end to catch the extra wine that would otherwise drip down the sides of the bottle.
  3. When you’re finished using your decanter, be sure to rinse it with scalding hot water and flip it upside down so all the liquid is removed, lest decanters tend to build up mold.

Serving Like a Pro

My dear friend Robert Hall of Bottega del Vino Crystal says it best:  “If the wine matters, so does the glass.” To get the most out of any bottle of wine, you’re best off if you serve it: a) in the top of the line stemware, and b) if you only fill each glass 1/3 full.

Following these two steps will enable you to get the most out of any $20 bottle of wine and allow any of your $220 bottles of wine to “sing.” Over filling a glass hinders proper aeration, while serving in small, cheap stems does the same.

Investing in great stemware like Bottega del Vino (www.bottlenotes.com/stemware) is the a sure fire way to maximize the wine-tasting experience, for yourself and any guests, any night of the week.

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  • basilandcatnip By basilandcatnip
    05.14.10  

    Good article, like the specific detailed points.

  • gnickels By gnickels
    05.17.10  

    very helpful, this helps quite a bit.

  • bondgal By bondgal
    05.17.10  

    Thank you for the info! My hubby and I are trying and experimenting with red wines and are learning alot. Appreciate any helpful information.

  • cristlegirl By cristlegirl
    05.18.10  

    I love these tips. I love wine, but have always kept it to myself and not served it because I don't want to mess it up.

  • andreaze By andreaze
    05.18.10  

    i love wine and entertaining, very good to know the proper way to serve.

  • supermommy828 By supermommy828
    05.19.10  

    very informative and i will definitely use these tips at my next party!!

  • jaruss By jaruss
    05.19.10  

    We love wine! Thanks for the tips! :)

  • oceanairy By oceanairy
    05.19.10  

    I couldn't agree more! This should be emailed to every restuarant!

  • Ambiguoussage By Ambiguoussage
    05.21.10  

    Great info. I've been getting into wines quite a bit. I have not been decanting, however after reading this article I will definitely go pick an elegant decanter up. Thanks!

  • 4harts By 4harts
    05.21.10  

    Great info. Especially the part about the perfect glass, I have had so many people act like I'm nuts when I say that.

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