Knowledge of a few basic principles will enhance the pleasure of wine and help you appreciate it as it should be. Whether it’s the choice of glasses, the order in which the wines are served or the temperature they’re served at, each element has a hand in making the tasting experience that much more special.
To better see and appreciate wine, it is preferable to use a perfectly clear, uncoloured glass. Earthenware or metal glasses should be avoided because they affect the taste of the wine.
The ideal glass should be delicate and thin, with a stem to avoid warming the wine when drinking. You don’t have to have a variety of glasses; two will do: the Champagne flute and the universal, tulip-shaped glass, whose rounded bowl allows for proper swirling and whose narrow mouth concentrates the aromas.
Order of service:
When several wines are served in the course of a meal, they should be served in ascending order of intensity. The following elementary rules apply:
- A dry white wine or rosé is served before a red wine
- A light wine is served before a full-bodied wine.
- A dry wine is served before a sweet wine.
- A young wine is served before an old wine.
The temperature for serving wines
The temperature a wine is served at will affect the taster’s perception. Interestingly, white wines are often served too cold, while reds are often served too warm. The following suggested temperatures will bring out the full character of the wines served.
6°C to 9°C for dry and light white wines or rosés, sparkling wines and sweet white wines.
9°C to 12°C for more full-bodied and aromatic dry whites, rosés and sparkling wines.
12°C to 15°C for light to medium-bodied fruity reds with low tannins
15°C to 18°C for medium-bodied to full-bodied aromatic reds with more tannins