How to Serve Wine

Published on March 24, 2008

Wine appreciation is a physical inasmuch as it is a palatable experience. You must have seen the pageantry of wine being served on tv or at the movies. It is basically that, but it involves a lot more glam than what is being presented on the screen. The wine is revered, treated as if it was another guest on the table.

Serving wine depends on what type of wine was ordered, whether it was red or white. Although both follow a similar pattern, there are some differences between the two, which would be explained later. For the sake of illustration, red wine will be used as a primary example.

After the wine is ordered, the bottle is brought to the table face up at waist level with the label facing the guest. A napkin is spread at the other arm, its purpose to be mentioned later. The maitre'd announces the name of the wine and would then present the bottle to the one who ordered, to be referred from now on as the host.

In opening the bottle, hold it by the neck. This is so that the label would not be covered. The server should always be aware that the label is in front, thus the hand is the one twisting in order to open the bottle.

A blade is then used to cut the foil. Peel once at the front and at the back to let the wine perforate. With one sweep, peel off the foil with the blade facing the bottle. Place the wine opener at the center, twist until two coils remain visible on top of the cork. As an added reminder, do not pop the cork.

Remove the cork from the corkscrew and present the cork to the host to let him smell the cork. The napkin now takes its role to wipe the mouth of the bottle to prevent spills.

The server then pours a little wine, approximately 1/16th of the glass, into the glass of the host for him to taste. The server should twist his wrist so as to prevent spillage. The mouth of the bottle should not touch the glass.

Not counting persons of rank and importance, the usual order of serving wine is ladies first and the host last. The glass should be at least a third or a half full. The mouth of the bottle should be wiped by the napkin after every pour. Take note that the label of the wine is visible all this time.

Serving white wine is practically the same, except that it is usually served chilled. The wine bucket should be one-thirds full of ice with water at least five inches below the brim. Present the wine the same way it is done in the previous example.

The napkin is wrapped around the neck like a scarf, the bottle chilled in the bucket until frost or sweat develops. Open the bottle while it is still inside the bucket. Again, prevent the cork from popping. Follow the same procedure in opening, tasting, and pouring wine. Glasses should be filled halfway.

A simple tip in checking the quality of the wine, take note of the following: region, varietal, and vintage. Happy wine tasting!

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