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OTHER ITA SITES:
The Proper Servicing of Wine
The Proper service of wine starts as soon as you bring it home. How you handle it, store it, open, and pour it is all part of service protocol. Wine is only a result of a long and delicate journey that can take many years to perfect. So the next time your swinging and swaying your bottle of wine around like some toy, consider its journey, carry it carefully and of course give it a comfortable place to rest.
Wine should be stored on its’ side in a cool place ideally at 55 degrees F. Storing wine in a place at a higher temperature will cause the wine to age at an increased rate.
The temperature for which wine should be served at is also down to a science as certain characteristics can only be detected at certain temperatures. It is all too common to have white wine served at a temperature that is far too cool. Over chilling wine causes the wine to be “tight” or too cold to properly experience it so do yourself a favor and follow these general guidelines and try to experience each wine the way it was meant to be experienced!
Wine Varietals - Ideal Service Temperature
Sparkling, Champagne - 45 degrees F/ 7 degrees C
Lighter bodied whites; Riesling, gewürztraminer, sauv.blanc - 45 – 50 F/ 7 – 10 C
Med, full bodied whites; Viognier, Semillon, Chardonnay - 48 – 50 F / 8 – 10 C
Lighter reds; Gamay, sangiovese, pinot noir - 55 – 60 F / 13 – 16 C
Med, full reds; merlot, Bordeaux blends, cabernet sauv - 60 – 65 F / 15 – 18 C
I suppose it might be hard to taste if you can’t open the bottle! It’s easy, but first you need the proper utensil. Don’t be fooled with all of these wine opening contraptions today that try to simplify an already simple procedure. Purchase what is called a 2-stage corkscrew; an indispensable tool for all waiters. Simply remove the foil on the bottle by using the knife of your corkscrew. Cut around the bottom of the lip of the bottle for clean and easy removal of the foil. Aim the point of the screw at the center of the cork and press down and start turning. Continue turning until only the last half of the final twist remains visible. At this point hook the 1st stage of the tool onto the lip of the bottle and use the handle as a lever to slowly lift the cork from the bottle. Once the handle is almost vertically extended, use the 2nd stage of the tool to fully remove the cork.
“Bruising”- Yanking the cork out of the bottle creates that all familiar POP! If proper etiquette is important to you, this “POP” is actually an undesirable resonance referred to as bruising the wine. In order to prevent this from occurring, gently lift the cork out of the bottle while bending the cork to the side. This allows the air to escape up the side of the bottle neck helping to reduce the possibility of a POP!
If you happen to break the cork, do not panic! It happens easily, especially with older wines. Merely remove the broken portion of the cork from your corkscrew and start again. Except this time place the screw up against the inside of the bottle neck and insert the screw pushing against the side of the bottle and slowly into the broken cork. Hold the neck of the bottle firmly and when the corkscrew has penetrated the cork by a few turns, slowly pull the cork out!
There are a million options available when considering glassware for wine, however in order for wine to truly shine; clear glass or crystal is the only way to go. It is important to see the wine you are about to enjoy, so don’t disguise it with a colored material.
The leading glassware manufacturers today have gotten this subject down to a science, successfully creating palate specific glassware to encourage the optimal tasting experience. Each wine varietal is best experienced when taken from a glass which allows the wine to breathe properly. Although swirling and decanting also aid in aeration, the glass used can also contribute to proper aeration as well. Reidel is the leader in this industry creating fabulously sexy glassware with only varietals in mind. This company creates a different glass for almost every libation!
The necessary glassware required for any home is a simple white wine glass which typically has a smaller circumference than a red wine glass which is quite a bit larger. A set of champagne flutes is highly recommended as well.
Your red or white glassware should accommodate approximately 10 – 12oz. of wine, however a wine glass should never be filled higher than half way. The idea is to allow enough room for the wine to move when swirling. Your wine will not breathe well if the glass is filled higher than half way.
In summary, wine is a delicate substance that should always be treated with great care. Storing it carefully and showing it off in great glassware is really all that wine asks for!
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