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Wine Service

Wine Service

1. Glassware

a. Cleaning

Wine glasses should not be cleaned with detergents as they can leave residual aromas in the glass. Glasses should be cleaned using hot water only and a clean scrubbing brush only.

b. Material

Glassware made from high quality, lead free crystal is clearer than glass and is also rougher than glass on a microscopic level, allowing the wine in the glass to breathe more efficiently when swirled in the bowl.

c. Shape

The stem of the glass is used to hold the wine. If you hold the wine by the bowl of the glass, the temperature of the wine will increase and could be adversely affected, especially with white wines.
Different glassware shapes influence the wine’s aroma. Aromatic white wines should be served in medium size glasses so that the fresh, fruity aromas are directed towards the top of the glass.

Red wines are served in larger glasses to allow the wine to come into contact with more air, which develops the aromas and flavours.

A burgundy shaped glass is used for wines with subtle aromas such as a Pinot Noir or a cool climate Chardonnay. The wide bowl of the glass increases the surface area of the wine and exposes the wine to more air, whilst the tulip shape opening holds the aromas in the glass preventing them from escaping.

A narrow champagne glass controls the bead (bubble) formation and prevents the wine from going flat too quickly.

2. Serving Temperature

Wine should be served at the correct temperature otherwise the character of the wine will be adversely affected. If a wine is served too cold, the aromas and flavours in the wine decrease and the acid and tannins become more apparent. If a wine is served too warm, the alcohol becomes more apparent, making the wine appear ‘soupy’ and hot. The tannins and acids are less evident and the wine loses its structure in the mouth.

Style of Wine Example Service Temperature
Sparkling wines Brut, Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Asti Well chilled 6 – 8 degrees C
Sweet wines Botrytis Semillon (including Sauternes), Ice Wine, Late Harvest Well chilled 6 – 8 degrees C
Light to medium bodied white wines Pinot Grigio, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Fino Sherry Chilled 10 degrees C
Medium to full bodied oaked whites and rose Chardonnay, oaked Sauvignon Blanc, Rose Lightly chilled 12 degrees C
Light bodied reds Beaujolais (Gamay from France), Dolcetto Lightly chilled 12 degrees C
Medium to full bodied reds Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Vintage Port Room temperature 17 – 18 degrees C

3. Opening Wines

Wine is closed either under screwcap or cork. To open a wine under screwcap, place one hand under the base of the bottle and the other hand over the entire screwcap closure and then turn your hands in opposite direction.

To open a wine under cork, use the knife on the opener to cut away the top of the capsule. Insert the screw into the centre of the cork and twist carefully, ensuring that it penetrates through the centre of the cork and not out to the sides. Hook the opener’s metal notch onto the rim of the bottle and then pull out the cork. Wipe the rim of the bottle free of wine or cork particles.

The next step is to inspect the cork for faults. Check for any breakage or large holes in the cork as this may indicate some oxidation. Then smell the cork to detect cork taint or TCA. If you are serving wine in a restaurant, give the cork to the person who chose the wine to inspect.

4. Pouring wines (professional service)

Hold the wine either from the base or middle of the bottle, with the label exposed and facing the person you are serving. Pour a small amount of wine into the glass of the person who chose the wine and allow them to assess the wine. Then pour the wine into the next person on the table, leaving the person who chose the wine until last. After each pour, twist the bottle and wipe the bottle rim with a cloth to minimize drips.

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