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Beginner’s Guide to Serving Wine

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Wine is delicious no matter how you pour it, but why not do it right? One of the most glamorous aspects of wine is the ritual of serving it. The assortment and classifications of wine can be overwhelming for many people starting out in their love affair with wine, but serving wine properly is a simple way to infuse your evening with class and even impress your friends, and the wine will actually taste better. There are three things to consider when serving wine:

Glassware

Different wines affect your senses differently and different wine glasses are designed to highlight each wine type by directing the wine and its aroma to different parts of your palate and nose. If you are not ready to splurge on your wine gear just yet, look for wine glass sets that include an assortment of glassware instead of only one type of wine glass, but of a higher quality.

Temperature

Regardless of color or style, all wine is stored at the same temperature; however, serving is a different story. For most people this means stick the white wine in the fridge and pull the red out of storage and to the table, but many people drink their whites too cold and their reds too warm. Whites that are too cold have a bland flavor that loses a lot of its subtle notes (and overt ones), while red wine that is too warm often has a strong and unpleasant alcohol flavor. Here are the ideal temperatures to serve your wine:

Champagne, Sparkling, and Dessert Wine 40° F
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio 45-48°F
Chardonnay, Chablis 48-52°F
Pinot Noir 60-64°
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz 64-66° F

All wine should be stored between 53-57° F and white wine then placed in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving, and red wine set out at room temperature around the same time to warm up. That is a good rule of thumb for people that don’t have a thermometer handy for serving wine.

Preservation

Wine begins to spoil the moment that it comes into contact with air. To slow this down, use a small vacuum pump to suck out all of the access air and secure the cork. The less air is in the bottle, the longer the wine will last and continue to taste wonderful.



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