Tips for Serving Wine at Home
We all love to enjoy a good glass of wine, but did you know there are a few simple tricks to serving wine that will completely elevate your experience? These three tips below will make you feel like a seasoned wine professional at home. Time to schedule your next dinner party!
1. Make sure you’re serving wine at the right temperature
A common misconception is that white wines should be served straight from the refrigerator and red wines should be served at room temperature. Believe it or not, those temperatures are too drastic for most wine.
White Wine: Serve 50-55°F
The temperature in your fridge is usually set to about 40°F, which is too cold for most white wine. When wine is too cold, the phenolics are muted and your palate can’t define the gorgeous flavors within the wine. That’s why we like to serve our white wines around 50-55°F, particularly in the summer months. This temperature is still refreshing and bright, but it also gives you the chance to truly experience the wine as it was meant to be enjoyed.
Red Wine: Serve at 60°F
You may also be surprised to learn that most of our red wines should be served around 60°F, while room temperature often ranges between 68-75°F. By serving Kerr Cellars red wines slightly chilled, they have the chance to warm up to room temperature over a period of time. That will allow you to enjoy the wonderful attributes of wines as they evolve, both aromatically and texturally. If you serve our delicious red wines at ambient or warm room temperature, you’ll lose half the experience and excitement. We don’t want that!
Tip: It’s not a problem if you do not have a wine fridge or temperature-controlled storage available. Grab one of our Kerr Cellars reds off your shelf and place it in the door of the fridge for 45 minutes.
2. Decant your wine
There are two main reasons for decanting wine: removing the wine from sediment and allowing the wine to aerate.
You can remove the sediment from the wine by standing the bottle upright for a day or two and then pouring it into another clean glass container. You should stop pouring the wine right before sediment flows into the neck of the bottle. Typically, sediment forms in older wines and this would be one of the reasons for decanting them.
However, some young wines can be very tightly wound. Even though they are too young to have formed any sediment, they benefit from the aeration involved in pouring the wine into a decanter. The aeration will allow the wine’s bouquet to open up. I will even decant full-bodied white wines simply because they look so gorgeously golden in a decanter.
Tip: You do not need to decant wines for many hours. I’ll deliberately splash the wine around slightly into a decanter and then allow it to oxygenate for about 30 minutes!
3. Choose the right glassware
Firstly, I see no reason at all why white wine should be served in a smaller glass than red. Some whites are just as, if not more, aromatic than some red wines. Use the same rounded burgundy glass to drink our Kerr Cellars Rued Vineyard Chardonnay as you would the exquisite 2018 Manzanita Pinot Noir. Additionally, you can use the same Bordeaux glasses to drink our Sauvignon Blanc or one of our exquisite Cabernet Sauvignons.
Tip: You do not need to spend excessively on glassware these days. As long as the glass is functional, lightweight, and thin, it’s perfect for wine drinking!
Cleaning your Glassware:
Always wash your wine glasses by hand, do not use a dishwasher. You can use a little bit of dish soap but very little. You do not want your glasses to smell soapy. Use lots of hot water and a specific sponge that you’ve set aside to wipe the rim. Then rinse once again under hot water and you’re done! Cleaning each glass should only take 10-15 seconds. Allow them to air dry a wee bit by standing them upright on their stem. Do not invert the glass to dry, this keeps the moisture in the glass which can leave a bad odor from the condensation. Polish them quickly after they are rinsed and put back in the cupboard.
Tip: Do not store your wine glasses in the box you bought them in. They will take on the smell of the box.
Tip: Use two cloths when polishing. One on the hand of the stem and the other on the rim, gently turn in the same direction. I have snapped hundreds of stems in my time of polishing, and it can hurt! If you have a cloth covering that hand, you will be better protected if you ever snap a glass!
I hope this gave you a few simple ideas for serving wine that you can use next time you pop the cork on your favorite bottle of Kerr Cellars!
Written by Matthew Lane, Kerr Cellars Executive Vice President