HOW TO SERVE THE WINE

Service

After having carefully chosen the wines, don’t waste them with an inadequate service! Every wine, to be worthily appreciated, must be treated and served properly.

Good service requires first and fore most adequate equipment. Do not be afraid, even the equipment can be collected a little at a time and at more than acceptable costs. First you will need a corkscrew. The best is that of a sommelier with a knife on one side, the spiral “worm” in the center and a lever on the other side: it is pocketable, practical and if well used it will not crumble the cap. The “ad alette” corkscrew is also admitted, which in the long run is less practical. To open a bottle, first cut the capsule with the knife, remove it and clean the area near the mouth if necessary; point the spiral of the corkscrew exactly in the middle and screw vertically, trying not to be pierce the bottom face of the cap. Point the lever at the edge of the neck and pull upwards gently but firmly, being careful not to bend the cork.

Not essential but useful a crystal decanter, to be used for red wines with a few years of aging; it can effectively be replaced by a pitcher, strictly transparent. Gently pouring a wine into the appropriate decanter or jug ​​may be necessary especially for aged reds, which over time tend to lose color and form a deposit or bottom in the bottle; if the bottle has been laid down, a couple of days before consumption, put it vertically, without shaking it. A few hours before consumption, pour it very gently into the decanter, avoiding sudden movements, and immediately stop pouring as soon as you see the bottom approaching.

To cool and keep the whites and sparkling wines in temperature, an ice bucket will be necessary, which can be effectively replaced by special insulating cylinders, in various materials, called glacettes available in all household articles stores.

The choice of the glass is essential to be able to appreciate the characteristics of a wine; the appropriate glass, in fact, allows each type of wine to better develop its characteristics of color, aroma and taste; a wrong glass on the contrary can distort the sensations during the tasting.

The matter, the color and the shape of a glass influence not a little in the tasting of a wine; obviously the best material is crystal, but also the “crystalline” sound glass (which does not contain lead) or a good transparent glass will be fine. In any case, take care that the glass is absolutely clean and odorless.

The shape depends instead on the type of wine you are going to drink; the goblet shape is clearly preferable, because it allows the hand to be removed from the glass, thus avoiding altering the serving temperature. A self-respecting wine glass must have very thin, unpainted walls, possibly without frames and facets, a stem long enough so that the hand remains away from the glass; and finally the glass itself must be wider in the lower part so that the aroma rises more easily upwards. Remember, finally, that the glass should never be filled more than half of its capacity: in this way it increases the surface of the wine in contact with the air, thus allowing a better oxygenation and a wider development of the aromas. Exceptions are the glasses for sparkling wine (coppa or flûte) that will fill up to two thirds, and the great ballons for important reds in which there is limited to a third.

There is an almost infinite series of tasting glasses on the market, some even “cut and sewn” made to measure for some particular wines. In general, however, six glasses are sufficient to enhance almost all wines, from aperitif to dessert.

 

  For the brut, dry and semi-dry sparkling wines, be they Classic Method or Charmat, use the classic inverted and elongated cone-shaped glass called flûte (flute, from French), which collects subtle aromas and enhances and allows observing the development of bubbles (the perlage). To better capture the most complex nuances of the most aged and mature Champagne there is a slightly flared and pot-bellied version.
  The young and fresh white wines are enhanced by a shorter and slightly rounded goblet, with a slight flare on the mouth, with a shape reminiscent of the tulip. Also of the tulip there is a slightly larger and slightly pot-bellied version suitable for enhancing more important whites, a rosé or a very young red, perhaps Novello.
  The glass for young and medium-aged red wines is larger and wider, with a shape that emphasizes the aromas and qualities of freshness and “fruity”.
  Important and long-lasting red wines call for the ballon, a large goblet with a characteristic rounded appearance, which best enables the wine to release complex aromas.
  The cup for sweet and aromatic sparkling wines should instead be wide and flared, to allow the more intense aromas to develop and expand without too much “disturbing” the nose.
Finally, dessert and “dessert” wines, passito or liqueur, will be served in a small and narrow glass upwards, in order to better concentrate the aromas.

 

On the table

There are some simple rules to prepare your glass with their wines:

First of all, don’t be afraid to mix the wines, don’t believe in the rumor according to which mixing different varieties of wine could “hurt”: if there are no medical contraindications, what is harmful is only the bad wine! The only drawback of serving more wine quality may be drinking too much; Moderate wisely, and you can easily enjoy all the wines required on the menu!

Like the dishes on the menu, the wines must also be served “in progression”, the basic rule is never to go back. The sequence of wines will therefore go from the lightest to the most full-bodied, from the young wine to the more aged wine, from the dry to the sweet, from the less fragrant to the most aromatic. Again, experience and inevitable errors will help you.

Finally, pay attention to the service temperatures:

 

  • Red wines, as everyone knows, should be served at “ambient temperature”, but which environment? Keep in mind that the rules of service were formed in recent times, when the houses were much less heated, or they were not completelyServite then the red wines at a temperature around 16/18 degrees, however, not higher than eighteen: surprises, and you will discover the taste of drinking red wines, maybe even in summer. If the bottles, stored in a heated place, are too hot, do not hesitate to put them in the fridge or in the ice bucket for a short time.

 

  • Even for whites, to drink traditionally cold, not exaggerated: serve at temperatures of 10/12 degrees. Lower temperatures “anesthetize” the palate, and do not allow the wine to develop all its aromas. Remember, after having cooled the bottles, to keep them cool in the ice bucket or in a glacette, to keep them at the initial temperature.

 

  • Only very dry sparkling wines can “hold” lower temperatures. Serve the sweet wines, passito and liqueur, at cellar temperature, slightly fresher than the reds but not cold.