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Wine Secrets
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Serving Wine Like a Professional
When serving several wines, pour white and rosé before red, younger bottles before older vintages, and dryer styles before sweeter ones.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
Chilling wine is a good way to improve the taste of lesser quality wine. Chilling masks imperfections such as searing sourness, lack of complexity, or too little fruit. Conversely, over-chilling very good wine hides the subtle nuances of flavor that makes it interesting and pleasurable.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
Serving temperature for all wine is rather important. Most white wines tend to taste best served a bit warmer than straight out of the fridge, where the temperatures are usually below a flavor-masking 41°F. The best route is to chill a white wine in the fridge and remove it about ten minutes or so before serving to let the wine warm up a bit. Serve finer white wines, such as Burgundy, a few degrees warmer still to bring out their myriad of aromas and flavors.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
Red wines taste best a little cooler than room temperature—between about 57°F and 65°F—with lighter-bodied reds served near the cooler end of the range and fullerbodied ones toward the warmer end.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
Glasses are important. Riedel is a brand of crystal glasses that the trade often uses for professional tastings because they can enhance wines. Riedel matches glass shapes to various styles of wine to best effect and they do work, but buying the full range might be excessive. The company's glassmaker Georg Riedel has designed more than one hundred glasses. Unless you only drink a certain style of wine regularly, I would recommend a set of the Bordeaux Grand Cru glasses for drinking red wine and a set of Chablis (Chardonnay) for drinking white, as well as a set of vintage Champagne flutes for bubblies— all of which are in the Sommeliers Series.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
If you choose not to invest in Riedel, you can still enhance a wine by serving it in a glass with a smaller rim to bowl ratio to capture the aroma of the wine.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
There are two reasons to decant a wine—to separate the wine from the sediment and to aerate it. Red wine with significant bottle age throws a sediment, so it's best to decant it. And almost all wines—particularly fullbodied reds—benefit from aeration. The exception is very old ones that need quite gentle decanting to separate the wine from its sediment, but can lose character if exposed to too much air.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
Different decanter styles exist for different wines. Young wines need more oxygen to open up than old wines, so a broad-bottomed decanter is best, giving the wine a larger surface area to be in contact with the air. Old wines on the other hand are more fragile, so taller, slimmer decanters are best, exposing less wine to the air yet offering means to separate the wine from the sediment.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
To prepare an old wine for decanting to separate it from sediment, gently stand it upright for a couple of days to let the solids collect at the base of the bottle. Then, peer through the glass with a light source behind the bottle to ensure it's settled well.

Serving Wine Like a Professional
You don't need any fancy glassware to decant. A clean funnel and a clean, empty wine bottle does the trick in a pinch. Just slowly pour the wine from one bottle to the next. Using a beautiful decanter is arguably more appropriate for certain occasions.

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