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Serving it right

In order to enjoy a glass of wine, it is equally important to serve it correctly. The structure and age of the wine primarily determine how a wine should be served. Of course the season and the place where you are serving the wine must be taken into consideration too.
A red wine served too warm, loses its taste and a white too chilled, means loss of aromas. So getting the temperature right is critical. This may seem too complicated and overwhelming but it is not.
The right temperature for red wine is about 15.5°C to 18°C. In reds, a merlot with its red berries and plum flavours is a fairly simple wine to serve. It is best enjoyed at 16°C to 18 °C. Never treat wines roughly. Always proceed slowly in bringing them to the right temperature for drinking. Cabernet Sauvignon possesses extreme depth, richness, concentration and longevity. Great Cabernet needs both oak and bottle aging to bring it into harmony.
If the temperature of a red wine is lower than the room temperature, one should warm it a bit by serving it in warmed glasses or by keeping the wine bottle in a warm water tub. This will raise the temperature of the wine and would make it perfect for serving. Else simply cup your hands round the glass and see it get warm.
In fact even before pouring the wine, uncorking it is important. A red wine bottle should be opened carefully so that it is oxygenated and enhances the bouquet of flavours. Let the bottle when opened, rest for a few seconds to breathe, before pouring it into a glass. Always remember to pour a small amount of wine in a glass so as to leave space for the wine to be swirled and release aromas.
If you are serving both reds and whites at a house party, ensure you start with the whites first. The lighter whites should precede the more robust ones. Then come the reds. Typically, all young wines must be served before the aged, old ones. Again, bear in mind that the sweeter the wine, the higher the serving temperature.
In whites, the aromatics like Sauvignon Blanc are perfect when chilled. A Riesling too. In fact lightly chilled, a Riesling is ideal – full of mineral and floral aromas, steely on the palate. Just the way I love it. But on the contrary, a Pinot Gris, is more a textural wine and is best served not too chilled. A chardonnay should be served just cooler than the room temperature. I firmly believe that drinking overchilled white wine deprives one of fully enjoying the complex aromas and delicious flavours in the glass.
White wines may be chilled in the refrigerator for about two hours before serving, while reds will benefit from about one or half an hour of chilling. Wines that are served too cold will lack aroma. Rather than refrigerating ahead of time to cool these wines, an ice bucket is equally a good option. The bucket should be half filled with ice, and half with cold water, and should be deep enough to allow the bottle to submerge right up to its neck.
Dessert wines must always be served chilled for the best taste ad experience. Serve a sparkling dessert wine in a flute glass and since thee are much sweeter than normal reds, pour only half of the usual wine quantity.
Another thing that one should remember when serving wines is that wineglasses should be clean, totally free from soap residue and musty odours. This will adversely affect the wine experience and you surely don’t want that?
The trick in serving wines lies in simplicity. Don’t get worked up about it. Just remember some basic ground rules and you will be fine. So enjoy your next wine dinner at home.

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