Wine o'clock

At first, it seems fairly simple to serve wine. You select a bottle, take a wine glass, uncork the bottle and pour the wine into the glass. However, nothing could be less true. Pouring wine is a ritual that requires the necessary attention. And even though we can’t all be sommeliers, we can adhere to a few simple rules. It will not only make you look very professional, it will also make you enjoy the wine you pour more.

There many misconceptions regarding the right temperature of wine. White wine is often served too cold, while red wine is often served too warm. When wine is too cold is loses its aroma, and when it’s too warm the taste of alcohol is very present. You can bring wine to the right temperature by allowing it to breathe. This is called chambré, which is derived from the French word ‘chambre’, meaning room. The wine must reach room temperature. Do note, however, that the current room temperature of 20 °C is too high for any type of wine. In this respect it is better to serve the wine slightly too cold than too warm.

Opening the bottle
Nowadays, most bottles have a screw cap. Which is a shame, because the opening of a corked wine bottle is a beautiful ritual that affects the mood and expectations of your guests. There are dozens of different corkscrews available. However, the traditional waiter corkscrew is still the most suitable for uncorking a bottle. When opening the bottle do make sure that the drill of the corkscrew is placed right at the center of the cork and that the cork isn't drilled through to prevent pieces of cork ending up in the wine.

Decanting and ‘carafing’
Decanting and ‘carafing’ are two very different things. Decanting means to pour aged wine into a slim carafe to separate the wine residue from the wine. Decanting takes place over a burning candle to clearly see when the residue is about to be poured out of the bottle. ‘Carafing’ is mainly carried out when the wine is still too youthful and hasn't yet aged properly. This requires more air which can be achieved by pouring it into a wide carafe.

Keeping wine
How long can be keep wine when an opened bottle isn't emptied in one go? Oxygen is good when a bottle has just been opened but it the wine remains in contact with oxygen for too long, it will cause problems. This will result in the wine starting to smell and taste like vinegar. If you store the wine in a vacuum it will not come into contact with oxygen at all, which will make it taste delicious for much longer.

Clinking glasses
The story goes that in the old days people clinked glasses deliberately in order to transfer the wine from one glass to the other. This was so they would not have to fear their host serving his guests poor quality wine. In the more formal circles, however, clinking glasses is considered inappropriate as dignified men and women associate the clinking of glasses with drinking bouts where huge amounts of alcohol are consumed. In a more intimate and smaller circle of family or friends, clinking fits in quite well as this gesture expresses a feeling of solidarity.


Take a look at our other blogs for more inspiration!