How to serve wine like a professional
To enjoy all the flavour and potential of a good wine, you need to understand both the content and what it is contained in, as well as how to do it. In other words, you don’t just need to think about your choice of wine, but also to take care in how you serve it, the temperature and recipient from which you want to consume it.
In this article, we want to tell you all the secrets you need to bear in mind when serving wine to your guests like a professional, when you’re bringing people together at home or when you want to sample your wine alone.
The right serving temperature for whites, reds and rosés
Wine should be served at the right temperature, which depends on whether it’s red, white rosé or sparkling, because this can affect the taste and the scent that the wine gives off. So that you and your guests can have the best experience, make sure to remember this when it comes to serving your wine. The most important tip that you need to know is that wine should never be too cold (under 4 ºC) or too hot (over 20 ºC).
When you buy a white wine or rosé you can store it in the fridge straight away. If you have bought a bottle of wine on the same day that you want to drink it, leave it in the fridge for at least two hours, or in the freezer for thirty minutes. You can also cool it quickly with an ice bucket. The best thing is to keep it at a temperature between 8 and 10 degrees. You could also enlist the help of a special wine thermometer to get it right every time!
Red wine should be served at room temperature, but in summer, you could also serve it a little cooler. To cool it before serving, you can put it in the fridge for half an hour beforehand. You could also put it in the freezer, but only for 15 minutes. The perfect temperature for serving red wine is between 15 and 20 degrees.
For sparkling wines, it’s recommendable to serve them very cold. To do this, put them in the freezer for an hour before serving. If you don't have much time, you can put the bottle in an ice bucket for thirty minutes. After opening the bottle, leave it in an ice bucket until you finish it.
How to serve wine at the table
Etiquette states that wine should be served before the food reaches the table so that it has time to breathe. The person serving the wine should pick up the wine from the bottom, to prevent it from heating up and serve it without the bottle touching the glass, pour it into the glass with a bit of distance. It is recommendable for the host to try the wine first, in case there’s a problem with it.
For some well-aged or strong wines, it’s better to use a decanter to serve them. This recipient will help to aerate the wine, get rid of any possible sediments and improve its taste. When you pour the wine from the bottle into the decanter, you need to do it slowly, letting the liquid slide down the walls so that the wine will move as much as possible spending more time in contact with the air. Leave the wine in the decanter for 5 minutes before serving it.
Remember never to fill the glass by more than a third. A normal bottle (750 ml) should be enough for 5 or 6 glasses. To avoid spilling drips, you should twist the bottle at the end, but the best thing is to use a specific accessory for this (wine pour spout or anti-drip pouring sheets).
Normally, whites are served before reds, and young wines before Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva wines. In terms of body, lighter wines come before wines with more body that are heavier on the palate. Furthermore, dry wines are served before sweet wines.
What type of glass is right for each wine?
The glass used can have an effect on the taste of the wine. The size, shape and type of glass have an influence on our perception when it comes to tasting the wine.
In terms of size, medium-size glasses with a small rim are recommendable for your wines, while reserve red wines need larger glasses with a wider rim to aerate them. The walls of the glass are also important, since they should tilt inwards to boost the aromas. The glass should be transparent and fine, so that we can really appreciate the tonalities of the wine.
Do you want to find out what kinds of glasses there are and which one you should use for each type of wine? You can find all the information in the article below: