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Wine Serving
The way you serve Wine to your guests could really make a difference and add a touch of class to the occasion. Following Wine serving tips would make your Wine serving and drinking experience more enjoyable:

Selecting the Wine and Pairing with Food: Choosing the right Wine for a given occasion is more complex than it sounds. To find out what to keep in mind whilst selecting Wines read our Selecting Wines page. For tips on matching Wine with food read our Wine and Food Matching page.

Quantity of Wine: This is something that many people do not think about carefully before stocking their Wine for a party. Quite often, either Wine runs out much before the party is over or vice versa. However, it is impossible to estimate the exact quantity of Wine you will be needing for a given occasion, the following simple formula can give a rough idea:

Number of Bottles to Buy = (Party Duration (in Number of Hours) * Number of People )/3

It is an empirical formula based on experience and on the assumption that a 750 ml bottle contains six glasses of Wine and an average person consumes one glass of Wine per hour. Of course, there will be some deviations due to personal habits; geohraphic, climatic and cultural reasons. But it is a good reference point when clueless. Then you can break down the number of bottles, say, 20% Rose/Champagne, 40% Whites and and 40% Reds.

Serving Temperatures: If there is one thing that is most important to get right when serving Wine, it is the temperature. 90% of the time Wines are served at inappropriate temperatures. Serving too cold destroys the aroma and inflates acidity. Serving too warm gives bitter alcoholic taste and dampens acidity. Use following guidelines for achieving optimum serving temperatures for different Wines:
  • Rose Wines: 9-12 Deg C (~50 Deg F), Refrigerator for around 3-4 hours or chill in an ice bucket for half an hour.
  • White Wines: 9-14 Deg C (~52 Deg F), Refrigerate for aroound 2-3 hours.
  • Red/Port Wines: 14-20 Deg C (~60 Deg F), If it's too warm, refrigerate for a little while and if it's too cold stand under warm tap water or use your hands to warm up.
  • Sparkling Wines: 6-10 Deg C (~48 Deg F), Referigerate for around 4 hours.
  • Brandy Wines: 18-20 Deg C (~66 Deg F), Usually warmed by hands in the snifter.
Uncorking the Wine Bottle: Invest in a decent corkscrew for a pleasant uncorking experience. There are a variety of corkscrews available in the market such as, Waiter's Corkscrew, Twisting Pull Cork and Winged Corkscrew etc. Personally, I prefer to use a double-lever corkscrew. It takes a bit more space than others but it's most efficient of all. Before uncorking the bottle, make sure that you remove the foil or any other covering to expose the cork. While opening a Champagne bottle, point the cork away from people and remove the wire muzzle. Hold the bottle in one hand and remove the cork by slowly twisting it with the other hand. Don't forget to keep some kitchen tissues or a clean lint free cloth handy, just in case!

Decanting the Wine: Decanting is pouring the Wine in a decorative container before serving in glasses. It allows the Wine to breathe and supposedly enhances its flavour. Decanting is not strictly necessary for most of the ready to drink table Wines. Decanting helps removing the sediments generally present in older Wines. However, more often, decanter is used for cosmetic reasons.

Wine Glasses: You can drink Wine out of any long-stemmed, egg-shaped, plain and clear Wine glass. However, if you wish to serve or drink the Wine in matching glasses read our section on Wine Glasses.

Wine Pouring and Serving Order: Pour still Wines towards the center of the glass and aerated Wines along the wall of the glass. Serve white before red and light before heavy. Last but not the least, always remember to serve the ladies first!

Monday, May 28, 2007, 01:22 AM

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