Basic Rules for Serving Wine and Using Glassware

Believe it or not, the glassware that you use to store and serve your wine in can have a dramatic effect on its flavour.

Such is the importance of the ‘architecture’ of a glass that, according to a report in CNN, an Austrian based glassware company called Riedel has designed glasses of different shapes and sizes to suit up to 300 varieties of wine. But what is it about glassware that changes and improves the flavour of a wine? Here is everything you need to know about the perfect way to store, serve and handle wine.

Why does glassware matter?

According to Riedel, the three main components of good glassware include the size, shape and diameter of the opening of a glass. The size of a glass isn’t about volume of the liquid, but more the volume of air that can come into contact with the wine, which has a key impact on the flavour. The shape of the glass and the size of the opening controls the speed at which the wine flows onto the palate. Some people also believe that crystal glassware improves the wine tasting experience, as the rim is thinner and therefore capable of being spun while the crystal itself can add minerals into the wine.

Serving wine

Serving wine correctly is also about storage, temperature and presentation. Over-chill a wine and delicate notes can be lost, but fail to chill it at all and you’ll find that subtle flavours can burn off or appear heavy. As a general rule, red wines should be served slightly below room temperature while white wines should be chilled in domestic or commercial wine coolers ( They usually taste best from anywhere between 44-57 degrees Fahrenheit. Sparkling white wines should also be chilled. Grip your glassware by the stem so as to avoid adjusting the temperature of the wine with your hands.

Grip your glassware

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Decanting a red wine can be a great way to aerate the wine and improve the flavour. Like glassware, a good quality decanter should complement the wine by allowing the appropriate amount of air to circulate with it. Give your wine a period of up to an hour to decant (although 30-45 minutes is usually enough) and you will reap the benefits.

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