Tips and Tricks
Serve white wine before red wines. Lighter wines before heavier wines.
Simple meals are enhanced when paired with complex wines. Complex meals can be enjoyed with simpler wines. It’s all a matter of taste.
When pouring your wine, slightly twist your wrist to the right as you finish pouring wine into the glass, before quickly tilting the bottle upright. This will help eliminate drips from the mouth of the bottle.
When you have washed your wine glasses, rinse them at least twice to get all the detergents out, as detergents can change the way the wine tastes.
Ideal Alcohol Serving Temperatures
Red Wines are best at room temperature, or below, if the weather is hot.
Serve red wines in large, open-bowled glasses, due to the wines tannins. The flavor of the wine improves with oxygen and the open bowl allows enough area for swirling and enjoying the “nose.” (The “nose is all of the various aromas coming out of the wine.)
White Wines – 6-8 °C/43° F- 46° F
White wines are generally served in smaller-bowled wine glasses to keep the wine cooler.
Rosé Wines – 6-8°C/43° F- 46° F
Rosés are best served in a glass with a smaller bowl, to keep the wine cooler.
Sparkling Wine: 8-10°C / 46° F - 50° F
Use a tall, fluted or tulip shaped glass to contain the bubbles and to retain its effervescence (i.e. Keep it fizzy.)
Decanting Red Wines
Decanting allows wines to breathe. It “mellows” young wines. Allowing a young wine to air can “age” the wine.
Decanting wines also separates the wine from any sediments.
Older wines should be decanted less than 1 hour before a meal.
Young wines should be decanted 2-3 hours before a meal.
Tasting Wines — The Five S’s
See – Look at the wine, checking its clarity, sediment, and the colour of the wine. The colour of wine will tell you the intensity of the wine about to be tasted.
Swirl – Swirl the glass on the table, rotate your glass, this aerates the wine, swirling helps the wine interact with oxygen releasing aromas before smelling the wine. If there is high sugar content, it will leave streaks in the glass. (Called ‘legs’ or ‘tears’).
Smell – Holding the stem, place your nose inside and inhale. Never sniff the cork (there is no need as that is not where the smell is) however looking at it will indicate cracks, mould, and seepage. Sniffing the wine will tell you how intense the wine is, does it remind you of fruit, flowers etc.
Sip – Never drink the wine. Sip the wine and allow the wine to roll around in your mouth 3-5 seconds to coat your mouth so as to detect its overall structure. You will be thinking about its textures, flavours, and weight. By letting in oxygen to mix in with your wine (en mouth) you will get to know the full profile of the wine.
Savour – When you swallow the wine, you will get a different taste to that during the above procedures. By doing this you will be able to see the wine’s balance, and detect any notes of domination or not.
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