It is a bit of a generalisation, but in the UK and Ireland, we are infamous for serving wines at the wrong temperature, i.e., our whites are far, far too cold (directly from the freezer in some cases) and our reds way too hot (after a good hour bubbling next to the fire place or the cooker!)
Excess warmth makes wines taste flabby and boozy, too cold and the flavours and aromas are muted.
If you want to get the most out of your white wine, take it out of the fridge about 15 to 20 minutes before you serve it.
As for reds, room temperature means “room temperature”; if the wine is too warm, give it 15-30 minutes in the fridge, if it’s too cold, let it sit and come to temperature gradually.
The waiter’s friend is the most reliable type of corkscrew for opening your wine.
There are 3 main steps to this;
Remove the foil – Try to resist the urge to just rip it off (fine if you’re on your own, but it really doesn’t look to great at a dinner party) and find a good quality cork screw, with a sharp foil knife. You can cut at either the first “lip” (prettier) or the second (more traditional). Do this by scoring the foil, front and back of the neck, and using the knife to lift off the top part to expose the cork.
“Turning the Screw” – You want to insert the “worm” (twisty bit) just off centre, and start to turn. It should take about 7 rotations. Don’t go all the way through, just until the twisty partly disappears and starts to straighten out.
Pulling the cork – Use the lever to pull the cork. The metal part should fit snugly to the top lip of the bottle neck, them simply lever it out, pour a glass and enjoy!
You don’t need an excessively large, over the top collection of crystal glassware to enjoy wine, but glassware is important when tasting wine.
A good quality universal wine glass, with a stem, made from proper, not too thick glass or crystal, will be ideal for almost all wines, especially when starting out.
A decanter can be a helpful addition if you particularly enjoy robust red wines. You can get a nice decanter at a fairly reasonable price, but fear not, a nice clean jug or carafe will have the same effect.
The whole point is merely to allow the wine to “breath”; allowing the wine to come into contact with a higher degree of oxygen which will soften the drying sensation of the tannins and allowing the flavours and aromas to become more integrated.
We all think we know what a “standard” pour is, but more often than not, we’re a bit too liberal. Remember, you should be getting 5-6 glasses out of a bottle of wine. A good guide is to use your glass; pour your wine to the widest point of the glass before the bowl starts to taper inward this is usually pretty close.
Hold your glass by the stem. There are 2 really, really simple reasons for this!
-It stops your wine getting too hot
-It stops your glassware getting covered in dirty fingerprints!
For more tips and advice on wine join the JN Academy-find out more.