Tips for Serving Fine Wines

Are you looking to impress your guests with a serious wine experience, but aren’t sure where to begin? You’ve come to the right place! At Glen Ellen, we understand the importance of good wine presentation and want to be sure you can truly enjoy what our varietals have to offer.

The first step to serving fine wines is to choose an appropriate serving temperature. As a general rule of thumb, the warmer the wine, the more volatility can be detected, giving the impression of stronger flavors. Ideally, wine should be served no warmer than 71 degrees Fahrenheit, but ideal flavor temperatures happen between 59 and 64 degrees. At this temperature, wine will be cool, but shouldn’t feel chilly.

For white wines, it is a good idea to serve chilled, but be sure not to go overboard. Remove chilled white wine from your fridge or wine cooler 30 minutes before serving to get a pleasant aroma and flavor.

While it may seem simple enough, uncorking wine plays a major role in its taste. Invest in a corkscrew that is easy for you to use. When screwing in, use care not to puncture the bottom of the cork, which could fall into the wine along with any loose sediment. Trust us when we say how you open a bottle can make or break your fine wine experience.

Depending on the age of your wine (either very old or very young vintages), it may be necessary to decant. This exposes wines to the air, giving them a chance to breathe and open up, providing for a more flavorful tasting experience. For older wines, decanting removes aging sediment from clear wine.

When decanting, pour wine in a slow, continuous stream, avoiding the air bubble noises from fast pours. When decanting a regular sized bottle, try to stop your pour around 720 ml, leaving the sediment cleanly behind. If possible, select a crystal decanter with a removable top, which will give you more control over exposure while allowing you to show off your fine wines.

In order to really experience the true potential of a wine in all its stages, consider investing in a case of wine. If that’s not possible, purchase several bottles to be savored over a course of time. The traditional method is to enjoy two or three bottles in the early stages of development, making notes for future tasting.

Over the next year, sample six to eight bottles until you feel the wine has reached its peak, leaving two or three bottles to store and experience later on down the road.

These are just some of many suggestions out there for serving fine wines. For more information on our selection of fine wines, or other tips on enjoying and understanding different varietals, please visit us at the Glen Ellen website:

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