House & Garden

Wine Serving 101: Everything You Need to Know on How to Pour Wine

The wine business in America provides a $220 billion contribution to the economy.

Nationwide, the wine industry employs almost 1 million people — who will earn over $33.5 billion in wages combined.

This isn’t news to wine lovers, who pay their fair share for some smoky Cabs, sparkling whites, and crisp Rosés. 

But for those who are just getting started in the world of wine, you may be wondering about wine serving rules.

To ensure you’re doing it right at your next party, get together, or night at home with the cat, check out these guidelines for some advice!

Choose the Appropriate Glass

Different types of wine require various sizes and shapes of glasses.

Don’t reach for the mason jar in your cabinet. Instead, consider choosing proper glassware. This allows the wine to open up, get exposure to oxygen, and can even affect its smell and flavor.

The standard wine glasses are as follows:

  • Flute — Made for sparkling wine, as it’s smaller and thinner, preserving bubbles
  • White wine glass — Tighter shape up top, maintaining floral flavors of your favorite stainless steel Chardonnay
  • “Aroma collector,” aka Burgundy glass — Large opening at the top allows you to smell the layers of your red wines
  • Universal — A bit smaller body than its predecessor, the Universal glass is perfect for spicier reds or more profound whites
  • Oversized — This type of glass is ideal for full-bodied reds with a lot of flavors, as the large opening helps the tannins reach your whole tongue
  • Dessert — These are smaller to provide portion control of higher-alcohol wines, like port wines

Invest in glassware that you’ll use often, and you’ll be sure to enjoy your wine-drinking experience more!

Honour the Temperature

Just as certain wines call for specific glasses, they call for specific temperatures, too.

All wines benefit from a slight chill, but reds will typically be warmer than whites.

A general rule of thumb for wine temperatures are as follows:

  • Very cold (38-45 degrees) — Sparkling wines or lighter-bodied whites
  • Cold (45-55 degrees) — Your full-bodied whites and your rosés
  • Cellar temps (55-60 degrees) — Light- to full-bodied reds
  • Room temps (60-68 degrees) — Some medium- to full-bodies reds, as well as dessert wines

Once you’ve picked the wine you’ll be drinking tonight, figure out how to bring it to this ideal temperature for the best flavors and aromas.

Consider Using a Decanter 

A decanter is arguably the most essential part of the wine serving equation.

Many people skip this step, but making time for it makes all the difference in the flavors of your wine.

The additional exposure to oxygen softens any astringent or “off” flavors in your wine, allowing the base layers to develop and come through fully. 

If you’re worried about how to choose a decanter, don’t fret too much. Any size or shape will enhance the flavors well if you let it sit for about a half an hour before serving. Give it some time at this step before enjoying it.

Wine Serving Made Easy

And now you’re ready to enjoy a beautiful bottle of wine!

Of course, the last thing to mention is your average bottle is made to serve 5 oz. pours. But no judgment here if you pass that line.

These wine serving tips are here for a reason — they bring you the best-tasting glass possible. Following these guidelines, you may even bring out flavors you never knew existed in your favorite brand.

For more great articles like this, check back regularly with our site!

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