I like my wine like my women—ready to pass out. The late inimitable Robin Williams naturally was joking when he said those words, but passing out wine to customers does indeed need a certain flair as wine serving has a quality all its own. How to serve wine (or how to pour wine, if you prefer the connoisseur’s way of putting it)? With style of course. In other words, the manner in which wine is served not only enhances the perceived quality of the wine but also adds to the drinker’s enjoyment of this elegant drink.
Here from Wine Folly are five tips for serving wine:
Cool wine is cool. Always serve wine slightly cool. Why this is so has something to do with how temperature affects the overall flavor of the wine. It’s not that temperature changes the wine’s chemical makeup, nothing of the sort happens. What temperature does is hasten the dissipation of the wine’s aroma. Remember that our sense of taste is affected by our sense of smell. The less the bouquet, the less the flavor. So, red wine should be served from 53°F to 69°F, white wine from 44°F to 57°F, and champagne from 38°F to 45°F.
Can’t without decant. Red wine tastes much better when decanted. That’s because decanting allows the wine to lose the chemical compounds that spoil its floral aromatics. The off-smell results when0 the wine yeast fails to get enough nutrients during fermentation. For best results, decant into a wine decanter or a glass pitcher and let the wine sit for at least half an hour before serving.
Opening the bottle. Although not all wines cause a pop when opened, there’s always a certain amount of thrill in opening a bottle of wine. Pop or not, take to heart these two tips when opening the bottle. First, if you’re using a wine opener, make sure to poke the cork slightly off center when inserting the corkscrew. This way the corkscrew diameter itself is centered, lessening the chances of the cork tearing. Second, the corkscrew should be inserted one turn less all the way in. In most cases, that means seven turns. Any more and you run the risk of splitting the cork apart and having Chateaubriand a la cork.
Class in the glass. Yup, the glass you pour the wine into can make the wine taste better. It’s all psychology of course, but it’s the sort of psychology we’re all familiar with. It’s all appearances. Chardonnay served in a Budweiser mug or, heaven forbid, a plastic cup somehow wouldn’t taste as good as one served in a crystal Bordeaux glass.
Pouring wine. A wine glass is never filled to near the brim. In most instances for big glasses, level off on reaching the hip, the widest girth, of the glass; for smaller glasses, make it a finger width above the hip. That’s about 5 oz per serving, which makes for five glasses per bottle. In case you’ve been wondering, that’s the reason for the parsimonious portioning—a wine bottle contains just 25 oz.
After serving wine, as with any other liquor, be alert to the telltale signs of intoxication in your customers. You’re duty-bound to protect them and your establishment from the effects of too much alcohol. How to tell? For that, visit 360training.com and learn all about Learn2serve’s fully online Alcohol Server Training programs.