How to Serve Wine: Serving Wine for Yourself and Guests
Learning how to serve wine can help make even inexpensive wines taste great. Serving wine at home well requires a few important factors to make sure your best wine tastes delicious.
The temperature of the wine you're serving depends on the different wines. Some taste best chilled, others taste best a bit warmer. While specific wines can taste best at really precise temperatures, a general rule of thumb is that sparkling wines should be ice cold, white and rose wines should be removed from the fridge about 15 minutes before serving, and red wines gifts should be chilled in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before serving. If a wine tastes a bit too much like alcohol, go ahead and chill it a bit longer. White wines that are too cold may have a masked aroma and flavor, so let it warm up a bit more at room temperature.
Checking wine to see if it has turned bad is also important when knowing how to serve wine. Change of color is a key indicator: reds may fade, and whites may turn browner. The smell of wine can definitely tell you if a wine has turned. Good wine will smell fruity, while bad wine will smell more like vinegar. Taste will also indicate a turned wine; bad wine will taste like vinegar.
A helpful tip for serving wines that are reds or have matured in the bottle is to decant them. Pouring the wine into a decanter, or a wine pitcher, can help with removing sediments from the wine, as well as to help with aeration of it. Sediments are not harmful and are only an indicator that the wine has matured - not that it has turned bad. You will look like a true sommelier if you know how to serve wine with a decanter.
Choosing the right glass is helpful in making sure the wine tastes great. Serve reds in a large round glass, sparkling wines in a taller, fluted glass, and whites in a tapered, 10 to 12 ounce glass. Multipurpose wine glasses also work well if you don't want to spend too much money on glassware. When pouring, fill the glass about halfway to allow the wine to breathe.
Finally, good etiquette is a major component of knowing how to serve wine. Serving order over the course of a meal, on a newly received gourmet gift basket with cheese and crackers or even at a tasting, usually goes from sparkling wine or champagne to white to red to sweet. Always ask guests if they would like more wine before you pour more for yourself. Lastly, always offer to share the last pour with your guests – it is only polite!