Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Serve Wine Like a Pro

As the holiday season approaches, family and friends are beginning to gather. If your house is anything like mine, this also means that many bottles of wine will be consumed. Being able to open a bottle of wine, and put wine in a glass is not difficult. Mastering the presentation and serving of wine is a fine art. If you want to look like a pro serving wine, and impress your guests follow these simple tips:

Cradle the Bottle
When transporting an unopened bottle wine to and from the table, it is customary to cradle it in one arm like a football with the label always facing up.

Present the Wine
If you are hosting the party, present the bottle with it still cradled in one arm. Tip the bottom of the bottle down to display the label. Point to the label and read the name aloud, and if applicable tell a brief story about the wine. What type of wine is it? What is its country of origin? How did you pick it out? Where were you the first time you tried it?

Opening the Bottle
Hold the bottle by the neck, with the label still facing the table. Never put the bottle on the table and spin it. Cut the front of the foil in a horizontal half circle, just below the tip. Then cut back of the foil completing the circle. Peel of the foil which should resemble the shape of a coin. During this process the label should always face forward. Use a cork screw to open the wine, try to remove the last part of the cork slow enough to hear the Air hiss into the bottle. Don't just yank out the cork creating a popping noise.

It is customary for the host of the party to taste the first sip of wine before it is served to ensure it is drinkable. I will either pour a small amount for myself, or for my wife to taste. Sip the wine to make sure the bottle has not spoiled. You will know if the bottle has gone bad because it will taste balsamic vinegar or smelly pond water.

Pouring the Wine
Now turn the label so it is facing you, and put your thumb in the bottom (or bunt) of the bottle to pour. When you tilt the bottle to pour the label should be facing upward. After tasting the wine, serve the all women first, and then come back to serve the men. With a clean napkin, wipe any drips from the neck of the bottle.

Setting the wine
After the wine has been poured, set the bottle on the table so that the label is facing everyone, and enjoy.

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