How to serve wine
When serving wine, the protocol to follow is anything but free. It’s a whole service ritual which, apart from providing some psychological connotations of exalting the wine, serves, above all, to be able to enjoy it in all its splendor. If you want to serve the wines purchased at Decántalo like a true professional, you have it easy. In all our wines you’ll find our recommendations for temperature, decantation and pairing. But if you also want to look like a real wine lover, follow the steps we present here.
The order of wine
In any worthy reception, the wines must follow an order of service. In the same way as the dishes gain in intensity in a three course meal, the wines must be good companions in this increase in flavor, to compensate for the pairing. In this way, the tasting of the different wines must follow an increasing order of sensations. That is, as the different dishes are served, the aromatic tenacity, richness in sugar and alcohol content of the wine increase.
As a general rule, white wines go before red wines, young wines before old wines, drier wines before sweeter wines and more modest wines before finer ones. However, in the world of wine, not everything is written in stone. The important thing is to know what’s really going to enhance the characteristics of each of the dishes served.
Temperature of the wine
Before opening a bottle, it’s essential to take into account the correct serving temperature in order to perfectly enjoy the characteristics of each wine.
Aromas, sugar, acidity, tannins, alcohol content, aging… are the properties responsible for deciding what the ideal serving temperature is. Taking into account that chilling reduces the sensations of sweetness and alcohol and increases the tannicity and acidity, generally, in young red wines a temperature between 12 and 16ºC is recommended, and in aged red wines, service at between 17 and 18ºC. In the case of young white wines, they appreciate being served at between 7 and 10ºC and in fermented and rosé white wines the margin increases to between 9 and 12ºC. Finally, the coolest, sparkling wines are usually served at around 7ºC. Keep in mind that above or below these levels, wines lose properties, great qualities may be masked and they can even become unpleasant.
But it’s just as important to pay attention to the serving temperature when opening the bottle, as well as maintaining it throughout its consumption. In this case, during hot seasons, ice buckets or cool bags are a good ally. Likewise, it must be taken into account that once the wine is served in the glass, the temperature can increase between 1 and 2ºC, so if the wine is served a couple of degrees cooler, in a few minutes it will reach its ideal temperature.
Uncorking the wine
Correctly uncorking a wine isn’t complicated but it does have its protocol. First of all, you need to remove the capsule from the bottle. This is the wrapper which covers part of the neck to protect the cork and ensure that it hasn’t been opened previously. It’s cut below the neck ring with a foilcutter or small knife. That is, by the projection below the mouth of the bottle. In this way, the wine is prevented from coming into contact with this material, which over time may have rusted or become moldy. When the cork has been uncovered, the corkscrew is inserted in the center of the cork and rotated without moving the bottle, avoiding the corkscrew going through it completely. If the cork unfortunately is split in two when being removed, carefully insert the corkscrew crosswise and pull it again, avoiding cork shavings from falling inside.
Once uncorked, a good way to know the state of the wine is the cork itself. It’s a good sign if it gives off the aroma of wine, but if instead it smells like cork or wet earth, you’re surely being confronted with a defective wine. This only needs to be confirmed with the tasting.
Most wines can be served directly from the bottle. However, it’s recommended to transfer old wines to a glass jug or decanter to separate the possible dregs or lees from the aging. Furthermore, through this decantation the wine is oxygenated which favors the exaltation of all its virtues.
When serving, the bottle should be picked up by the part furthest from the neck and always showing the label. It’s served smoothly on the right side of the diner, with a continuous and controlled flow and without touching the glass. In red wines, only two fingers are filled, and a little more in pink, white and sparkling wines, and then the bottle is turned clockwise so that the last drop does not fall on the tablecloth.
At a table with different diners, a small tasting is first offered to the host and, once approved by the host, the women are served first, from the oldest to the youngest, and then the gentlemen are served in the same order. Finally, the host is served. However, nowadays the protocol has been modernized in this aspect and after giving the host a try, it’s more correct to serve everyone at the table in a clockwise direction.
Now you know a little more about the wine protocol, all you need to do is put it into practice. To help you, at Decántalo, in addition to a wide and varied range of wines, we offer you wine accessories that will facilitate the service, exalt the wine and make you look like a true professional in front of your guests. Guaranteed success, without a doubt!