Sommelier Tips: How to Properly Serve Wine from Your Cellar

You may click on the photo to see a larger version of the image!You’ve started to fill your wine cellar with bottles that you bought from various wine stores in the different places you’ve been to. It’s one thing to have a premier collection of wines, but knowing how to enjoy them is another story. You can have the best wines in the world, but if you do not know how to be a good sommelier, you won’t be able to achieve a fully satisfying wine tasting experience. 

What is a Good Sommelier? 

You may click on the photo to see a larger version of the image!A lot of people love wine. Many want to start their own wine collection. Some hire contractors to build them a residential wine cellar. All of these are great, but one of the most disregarded aspects of wine consumption is how to serve the beverage. A truly fulfilling wine experience takes more than popping the cork and chugging the bottle. If you take time to notice, each sip you take from a glass of wine has a different taste. How you serve wine has a direct effect on how you will enjoy that wine.

A good sommelier is a good steward. These are the elements of wine tasting that a prudent wine steward should know:

The Right Glass for Each Type of Wine

You may click on the photo to see a larger version of the image!You attended a small birthday party, and the guests were filling up the host’s home too quickly. There were too many people in a tiny house. The celebrator was serving Burgundy for all guests, but since she only had ten red wine glasses, she used champagne flutes for other guests. For most of those present, sipping wine from a flute was not a problem. But, you’re not like most people. You’re a genuine wine enthusiast, and you know this is an embarrassment!

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True-blooded wine lovers know that there is a different type of glass for each type of wine, and to fully enjoy any bottle of wine, you have to adhere to using the right glass every time. Wine glasses are made in various shapes and sizes, because they are meant for certain types of vino. The shape of a glass contributes to how the aromas of the wine will be concentrated and where the beverage will hit the tongue once it enters your lips.

You may click on the photo to see a larger version of the image!It was in 1961 that the famous Austrian glassmaker, Claus Riedel, found that each variety of wine has its own distinct characteristics. He noted that some wines were fruitier than others, while some types contained more acid. Some wines had more alcohol content, and some had higher tannin levels. After noticing these differences in qualities, Riedel began shaping glasses for each of the major kinds of wine. He purposefully tailored each glass style to help concentrate the most delectable flavors and aromas. This brilliant glassmaker suggested that tannic reds and full-bodied whites should be served in glasses that have wide bases and narrow mouths. On the other hand, he said that light-bodied reds and whites are best enjoyed when served in glasses that have wider mouths.

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Proper Maintenance of Wine Glassware

More often than not, off-flavored wines are caused by leftover residue in a glass that has not been cleaned thoroughly. To have a better wine tasting experience, a good sommelier should keep all glassware clean.

You may click on the photo to see a larger version of the image!Ideally, a wine glass sponge brush should be used in washing your glassware. You can find this cleaning tool in any local kitchen store. Make sure that you only use this sponge brush for your wine glasses. Using this material for washing dishes and utensils can cause cross-contamination. Imagine how your wine will taste if you had grease in your glass.

Wash your wine glasses with warm water without using dish soap. There is a tendency for soap to stick to the glass, and if you fail to wash it thoroughly, the taste of your wines can be affected. After washing your glassware, set them upside-down on a dry dish towel.

If you want an extra shine on your wine glasses, steam them over hot water. Then, hold the glassware by the base and polish the glass using a clean towel. Keep in mind that wine glasses are very fragile. Make sure you clean them gently. Never twist the base or bowl.

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How to Serve Wine the Right Way

You have your bottle and your glass ready. Now, it’s time to pour yourself (or your friend) some of that heavenly vino that you’ve been saving. When pouring the wine, never pour to the rim of the glass. You do not need to fill the glass. Wine, unlike other beverages, needs adequate room to breathe. Experts recommend that the pouring size for white wines ranges from 2-3 ounces, while red wines should be at three to five ounces. These pouring sizes are adequate to give room for the wine to swirl in the glass. Sparkling wines, on the other hand, can be poured closer to the rim. This is because carbon dioxide bubble should be allowed to bead to the top. Do not, however, fill the champagne flute completely to the top.

You may click on the photo to see a larger version of the image!Serving temperature is another important variable to enjoying your wines. As a general rule, bubbly and sweet wines should be served at approximately 37 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry whites and aperitifs should be served at 45 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, while light-bodied and fruity red wines should be served at 58 to 62 degrees Fahrenheit.

Storage Environment is A Vital Element to Enjoying Wine

Wine cannot be kept in a place where there are strong odors or scents around. Wine, easily absorbs these aromas, and this can affect its flavor. To preserve the quality of wine, make sure to keep it in a clean and odorless environment.

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Ideally, a custom wine cellar is where you should keep your bottles. We, at Custom Wine Cellars San Francisco, can help you in the construction of your storage facility. Get in touch with our designers and builders today! Click here!

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