How to Properly Serve Wine


Wow Your Guests With Perfect Wine Service

Thinking about throwing a dinner party and want to show off your bougie-ness? Great, we love that look for you! So many people are uneducated on the proper method of serving wine; whether they're pouring at the wrong temperature or popping off corks, they don't realize they're destroying their wine's flavors and aromas. 

Let's step up your entertaining game and make you look like the queen (or king) you actually are! 

Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

Prepare to have a little more respect for Goldilocks! The perfect serving temperature for wine is VERY important because it impacts both the wine's flavor and aroma. Wine too warm? Prepare to be overwhelmed with a rich, alcoholic taste and bitterness. Wine too cold? You won't enjoy the wine's acidity, fruit structure, or sweetness because the cold will mask these delicious elements. But, when the bottle of wine is at the proper temperature, you'll discover its aroma, body, and flavor as it was intended to be consumed! 

Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wine like champagne is her very best self when she has been well chilled. Sparkling wine likes to be served between forty to fifty degrees Fahrenheit because, at these temperatures, its freshness and fruitiness are preserved. While sweetness is emphasized in warm climates, chilling them allows their balance without killing their vibrant aromas. Our suggestion is to put your sparkling wine in the refrigerator about three hours before serving! 

White Wines

Light, Dry Whites (Think: Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc & Riesling) 

When it comes to wines that are light in color and style: the cooler, the better! The cold maintains a light white wine's acidity and freshness. Specifically, for these wines, it is best to serve between forty-five and forty-nine degrees Fahrenheit. About one and a half hours in the fridge should do the trick! 

Full-Bodied Whites (Think: Chardonnay, Viognier & Trebbiano) 

These wines are more complex than their lighter counterparts. Because they have rich flavors and aromatic characteristics, they should be served slightly warmer at fifty degrees Fahrenheit. For wines that are particularly well-oaked, you can serve even a little warmer at fifty-five degrees. We suggest an hour in the fridge before enjoying. 

Red Wines

Yup, some red wines need to be chilled! When red wine is too cold, its flavor becomes incredibly dull. But when red wines are too warm, you are overwhelmed with alcoholic taste. 

Light to Medium Bodied Reds (Think: Pinot Noir, Chianti, and Beaujolais) 

At fifty-four to sixty degrees Fahrenheit, you will enjoy a light red's vibrant aromas and flavors. When poured at too warm, their flavors, typically very fruity, will become overpowering with tart and acidic flavors. Put these bottles in your fridge for 45-60 minutes before serving. 

Full-Bodied Reds (Think: Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon)

Many believe that these wines should be served at room temperature or seventy degrees Fahrenheit. However, we have found that between sixty and sixty-five degrees are the sweet spot for these wines. At this temperature, you'll enjoy a lush mouthfeel, rounded tannins, and well-balanced acidity. Before serving, place the wine in the fridge for about twenty-five minutes. 

Your Glass Matters

If you've ever been to a home good or department store, you know that they have a wine glass for every type of wine you would ever want to drink. Why is that? We're going to go ahead and say marketing because it is the wine that matters, not the glass. 

The rumor goes that in 1973, a Mr. Claus Riedel of Riedel glass company was eager to sell more of his wine glasses. So, he created his Riedel Sommelier series, which consisted of ten glasses that he alleged were ideal glassware for different types of wine. According to Riedel, the glass shape would support the drinker and enjoy the wine's aroma, while the shape would direct the wine to the exact parts of your mouth that would allow you to taste the glass of wine the best. Luckily for Riedel, sales skyrocketed. 

In 2004, Riedel's claims were debunked. An article written by Gourmet Magazine reported that studies were conducted and essentially said they were nonsense. So while his stemware may have been beautiful, the specific red wine glasses and white wine glasses ultimately did not scientifically improve your wine experience. 

Tricks For Bottle Opening

Although popping off the cork and firing it across the room is more fun, this method is not the right way of opening the bubbly. Instead, sparkling wines do best when you allow the bottle's pressure to release the cork with a slow but noticeable hiss gently. Hold your bottle at a forty-five-degree angle; while your thumb is over the top of the bottle, slowly twist the neck of the bottle (note: rotate the bottle NOT the cork) in one direction while holding the cork firmly. Doing so will allow the pressure inside the bottle to push the cork out of the bottle gently. 

The Deal With Decanters

Think of a wine decanter as a container that is utilized to serve wine. The process of decanting wine is the act of pouring the wine from the bottle into a decanter. At home, you use a decanter to serve wine into individual glasses. In contrast, in restaurants, they often pour the decanted wine back into its bottle for presentation. 

To decant wine means to advance the flavors and experience of drinking wine. If you've ever seen or read that some wine needs to breathe, what they're saying is that the wine needs to interact with the oxygen in the air. This aeration enables the wine's tannins to mellow out, and therefore, the flavor and aromas of wine become more prominent, and the wine tastes even better. This is precisely what decanting does; it allows the wine to breathe. As your wine chills out in your decanter, it's hanging out with oxygen and getting tastier. 

Decanters are essential and used more in wines with older vintages because they have been in their bottle for quite some time. Therefore, they have built up many tannins. 

Perfect Your Pour

As it turns out, different wines demand different pouring styles. Here are a few basic guidelines to keep in mind! 

Sparkling Wine 

Ever have a bubble overload? Avoid that by pouring in a trickle then let it settle, and then pour a small amount more, let settle and then finish with one last pour. Key here is small bits! 

White Wines

Pour slowly to about the center of the glass until it’s about one-third full. That’s a standard wine pour of around three ounces. 

Red Wine

Pour slowly until your wine is about the center of the glass, half full. That is a standard wine pour for red wine at four ounces. 

Treat Your Wine Right

If you’re a true connoisseur, you know there is an art to keeping your wine well maintained. If you’re not, don’t worry, we also wrote a blog about what kind of wine needs to be stored and how to properly do so.