Tips & Tricks for the Festive Season…Glassware, Cellaring and Serving Temperatures

Tips & Tricks for the Festive Season…Glassware, Cellaring and Serving Temperatures


How to choose your glassware

The glass you use makes a huge difference. Try the same wine in a basic water glass then try it in a proper wine glass and see the difference for yourself.

A good wine glass must have his curves in all the right places. The bowl must be round to help aerate the wine and let its aroma develop. It should also taper inwards towards the top to stop its precious essence escaping.

How many glasses? Some glassware specialists recommend a glass for every grape and almost every wine region in the world. This is too much! Once again, keep it simple at home. Have one champagne/sparkling wine glass, one white wine glass and two red wine glasses. One pinot noir/burgundy shape and one cabernet/Bordeaux shape. If you prefer to have only one red wine glass, opt for the pinot noir/burgundy shape; it is very good for lots of different reds.

Crystal clear – less is more, keep your glass plain, simple and colourless.

Stemless wine glasses

In addition to traditional stemware, many of the top glassware manufacturers offer stemless options. However, one of the biggest drawbacks to stemless glassware is that it leaves unsightly fingerprints on the surface of the glass. Another consideration is that without a stem to hold, the temperature of the wine will be affected by the heat of your hands (not so good if you want a chilled sauvignon blanc).

Cellar your wine

Cool and dark! Wine should be kept in a cool and dark place, the ideal temperature is 10 -12°C. Try to avoid fluctuations in temperature.

Humidity. A damp cellar is important for cork sealed bottles to keep the cork moist.

Upright or lying down? Screwcap bottles can be stored upright. Cork closure bottles must be stored lying down to ensure that the corks don’t dry out.

Serving temperatures

Avoid storing the whites too cold or the reds too warm. White wine should be served at around 8 °C. Young reds should be served at around 16 to 18°C and will also warm up when poured in the glass.

Alcohol in red wine? If you’re having a strong red wine such as a Barossa shiraz or California zinfandel, make sure you don’t serve it too cold as the sensation of alcohol on the palate will dominate the wine.

How to chill a white wine quickly? Have a rapid wine cooler that you keep in your freezer at all times. These are great for using in the summer to keep the wine cool. Do not put your wine in the freezer.

Interesting note: Chilling a wine too much will hide the flavours of the wine. Conversely, it will also hide any imperfections in a bad wine.

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