Once you have selected a bottle of wine, whether it is a common wine or a great vintage, your goal is to get the best out of this bottle and enjoy the wine. A proper wine service helps to improve your experience.
Among other factors you should consider: correct temperature, choice of glasses and a careful service.
1. The correct temperature
You should never take the wine from the cellar and immediately put it on the table. Before the tasting or the meal you should properly evaluate the time needed to cool the bottle. The wine can be neither too cold nor hot. In both cases it loses its true personality. The right temperature of the wine affects its taste and the optimal one allows the bouquet of the wine to be well expressed.
Overall, white wines should be served colder than red wines. But beware that the temperature scale is variable depending on the style of the wine. Each one gives the best of itself at different temperatures. Here you will find an illustration with the correct temperatures for different strains and styles.
Currently there are technical tools for storing wine at the ideal serving temperature, as a cellar or fridge with the right conditions to maintain a cool environment. The quickest way to lower the temperature is a bucket with water and ice. We must wait ten to fifteen minutes to go from 20 ° C to 8 ° C.
It is very helpful to use a thermometer to determine if the wine is ready to serve. However, one or two degrees more or less aren’t seriously damage for the wine. A tip for you: do two or three times the test with the thermometer, touch every time the bottle and remember the sensation of the cold glass. With a little more experience you will be able to decide the temperature along with your own senses.
2. How to open the bottle
With the small knife hidden in the corkscrew, cut the outer shell just below the curve of the neck of the bottle. Be careful with your fingers. Inattention can cause a cut with sharp metal capsule.
After removing the cap, wipe the bottle neck with a cloth or paper towel. Then enter the corkscrew right through the center of the cork to the bottom, keeping it straight. Finally, slowly remove the cork. The idea is not to cause a crash, but in a subtle way with an inviting sound remove the cork.
Most wines can be served straight from the bottle, but some wines gain from the decanting process. Pouring the contents of a bottle into a decanter improves the perception of wine in two ways: first, removes any traces of cork or other waste, and second, it allows its aromas to be expressed better.
In the case of old wines, decantation makes them to be open quickly. However, you can decant both mature wines with several years of cellaring and young ones. Between one to two hours in the decanter the wine becomes softer and rounder. But don’t decant the wine too soon, because it loses its freshness and vitality.
How to decant? It is very simple. The decanter must be clean. I recommend rinsing with a little bit of wine before use, so any trails of detergents or possible aromas are removed. After uncorking the bottle, slowly pour the wine into the decanter. We recommend decanting the following Concha y Toro wines: Don Melchor, Gravas del Maipo, Carmín de Peumo and Terrunyo Cabernet Sauvignon.
4. The order of service
The rules say that white wines should be served before reds, young wines before the older vintages, light bodied before full bodied, dry before sweet and fine wines, those special or unique ones, always at the end of the evening.
When you are the host, you should try the wine first to check if the bottle is not defective. Serve the ladies first and then, continue in clockwise direction, always pouring the wine from the right of the host.
5. How to pour the wine without drops on the table?
Do it slowly! Pour the wine into the center of the cup and then rotate the bottom of the bottle to keep those last minute droplets inside the bottle. This trick requires some practice, but you can do it. Also, always have on one hand a white cloth to wipe the bottle.
Each bottle of 750 ml reaches to 6-12 tasting glasses, depending on the size of the cup. To enjoy wine with food, you should serve between 150-180 ml. Visually, it is a third of the glass. In case of sparkling wine flute type glass should be full until three-quarters, to observe the rise of the bubbles.
Before the service check if your glasses are clean. The taste of wine is not only better when drunk in the appropriate glass, but also without any other smell. The elements that you should consider are: glass shape, size, and quality of the glass (remember that the glass has to be transparent, smooth and facets).In Europe, especially in France each wine region has its own type of glass, for example Burgundy or Bordeaux. The glasses for tasting should be closed tulip shaped and sparkling wines are served in flutes type of glasses. The edge has to be bent inward to capture the aromas and channel them in the nose. Another important factor is that the foot of the cup should be quite long so the fingers can hold it without touching the cup. Hopefully the cup is large enough to swirl the wine and release its aromas.
8. How to keep a glass in hand?
Keep the glass toward the base of the stem between your thumb and forefinger; never keep the cup of the glass in your hands to avoid warming the wine. This step of service and tasting is useful for learning about wine and understanding its taste.
Now you are ready to enjoy your wine with dinner and taste it correctly.