The mere mention of etiquette brings to mind various images, mainly negative. Etiquette means observing set rules. Its not about the quaint traditions but where wine is concerned etiquette matter.
The primary connoisseurs of fine wine are oenophiles who are stringent about treating, serving and tasting wine. Then there are wine lovers and those simply appreciating wine. For occasional enthusiasts, collectors and cellar owners, the essence of wine etiquette heightens the experience.
Determine Proper Temperature
Wine is altered by temperature and environment, putting the emphasis on proper storage. Keep red table wines standing in the dining room for approximately 24 hours in advance, for settling sediments, followed by room temperature. White and Rose wines require slight chilling of around 50F or one hour in a refrigerator.
Sparkling wines including champagnes require longer chilling of a few hours. Temperature levels drown inconsistencies and enhance the taste. A handy tip is to allow 10 minutes for a wine in a refrigerator to chill and for the reversal, in room temperature.
Time The Uncorking
Uncorking a wine calls for basic guidelines. For red wines, remove the cork one hour in advance. Oxidation helps to experience the true flavor. The longer white wines are left open in room temperature, the more the loss in quality. Don’t uncork until just before serving.
Decant The Wine
It may appear pretentious to make such a lot of fuss, but there’s no denying that there is a whole new dimension to the taste. Red wine vintage and port wines are perfect for decanters as they build up fairly substantial bitter sediment at the bottom. Pouring slowly into a decanter therefore separates the wine from the sediments.
Decanting wine is also done for exposure to oxygen. Having been deprived of air and vacuum for years, air adds to the flavor of red wine. For uncorking use a container with an open mouth. The resulting chemical reaction exudes the aroma that is crucial for the tasting experience. For this purpose, red wine glasses have large rims. Having slowly decanted the wine, leave it for about an hour in room temperature. Eventually the difference in taste is unmistakable.
Pour The Wine
Wine etiquette dictates how a glass of wine should be poured. For bubbly wines that sparkle, pour along the side of the glass to preserve the all-important bubbles. Still wine is poured into the center of the glass allowing the flavor to float upwards.
Depending on the wine, never fill a glass more than two-thirds or halfway. On occasions when different wines are being sampled during a meal, the amount being poured needs to be even less.
Use The Right Glass
Highly diverse, wine glasses may prove confusing. Nevertheless they matter as they function with the temperature. The more intense aromas are better appreciated in glasses with wide but thin rims.
The opposite principle is true for white wine glasses. Narrower and more slender, the tulip shape is integral to the hallmarks of white wine. More blunt and less angular than champagne flute or dessert wine glasses, white wine glasses can be easily differentiated.
Follow The Drinking Rules
To the uninitiated wine etiquette may seem unnecessary. However it is an established fact that for the authentic experience of wine in all its subtleties, it is the only way……Cheers!