How to serve wine – Wine Cellar Essentials

These simple tips for serving wine will add class to any occasion.

These simple tips for serving wine will add class to any occasion. Photo: Wine Selectors

Serving wine isn’t rocket science, but there are ways to bring a little extra tjuz to the experience. Add a smidge of sommelier class to your afternoon or evening with these handy tips for getting the most out of your glass of wine!

1. Choosing the right glass

For an all-purpose white wine glass, choose a long stem with a good-sized bowl so there is plenty of space for the wine to breathe. Go for a smaller bowl with lighter-bodied wines to preserve their delicacy, and a larger one for Chardonnay to bring out its creamy texture.

Red wines go best with a bigger bowl, letting you get your nose in to smell the aromas. It also brings more air in to release the flavours and soften the tannins – perfect for varieties like Cabernet and Shiraz, as well as new world wines like Tempranillo and Sangiovese.

For Sparkling, the classic flute allows the bubbles to gather at the bottom of the glass then shoot up to the top, capturing the aromas and flavours and presenting a stunning display of sparkles. For more aged or complex examples a tulip-shaped glass will help open up the aromas and flavours.

Good glassware goes a long way towards getting the most from your wine tasting experience. The Wine Selectors Tasting Panel’s glassware of choice is Schott Zwiesel – durable, elegant and stylish, there’s a Schott Zwiesel glass for every taste.

2. The ideal serving temperature for wine

Most people serve reds straight from the shelf, and whites straight from the fridge – and that’s ok! If you really want to enjoy your wines at their best, it helps to know that each has an optimal serving temperature.

If reds are served too warm, the alcohol will dominate, masking the subtler flavours. As Australia is a warmer country, most reds are being served above their ideal temperature. Cabernet and Shiraz are at their best between 16-18 degrees, while lighter reds like Pinot Noir are at their peak between 12-14 degrees. Pop your bottle in the fridge for about 20-30 minutes before serving for best effect.

Similarly, white wines will have their delicate flavours suppressed if served too cold, so it’s good to take them out of the fridge a little while before serving. Aromatic whites like Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are sublime at a lightly-chilled 6-8 degrees.

3. Decanting your wine

Decanting lets your wine and oxygen combine, opening it up and allowing the fruit to prosper, the structure to soften, and the wine to be at its best for tasting.

Good wine with a cork is meant to be decanted, to separate it from any sediment, but even screw-capped wines can benefit. Since they arrive tighter and more fine-boned than their predecessors under cork, a bit of air can help release primary fruit and aid texture.

Newer wines can be left in the decanter and will open up over the course of a few hours. Older wines, however, will start to fall away after about 45 minutes and become stripped of their fruits quite quickly.

Decanting will even improve less expensive wines – you may actually fool your friends into thinking you’ve forked out for a top drop!

Pouring into a glass

When pouring wine, give the bottle a little turn to prevent any drops spilling. Photo: Wine Selectors

4. How to pour wine like a pro

While a social drink is a deliberately informal affair, sometimes you might want to bring a bit of ritual and flair to the occasion.

For full table service, wrap a napkin around the bottle’s neck, grab the bottle anywhere below its shoulder, and keep the label outward to show the wine you’re pouring.

A casual rule of thumb is to fill to the point just below where the curvature of the glass bowl begins to narrow. Give the bottle a turn as you’re completing the pour, to prevent any drops from spilling.

Get a taste for top wines

Want to get your personal wine cellar well and truly stocked so you can really work on those wine tasting skills?

Then make sure to check out Wine Selectors’ enormous range of wines and mixed wine cases.

From wines that are ideal for everyday entertaining to the best of our regions and top shelf, special occasion wines, you’re sure to find your next favourite, with each bottle handpicked by Wine Selectors’ expert Tasting Panel. It’s simply a better way to buy Australian wine!




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