Serving Wine – The Correct Order
When we plan a meal, we need to take into account in what order we serve the wines. The rule of thumb on the correct order to serve them is that whites are served before red wines and young are served before Crianza or Reserva.
For sparkling wines, we can choose whether to serve them with appetizers or with desserts. Sweet wines are paired with desserts.
Depending on what we are serving to our guests, we need to prepare the wine pairing accordingly.
First, you need to know how you would like to greet your guests. If you want them to greet them with a glass of sparkling wine right from the start, we recommend serving a glass of champagne or cava.
This is a great way to welcome your guests while serving the appetizers. Cava and champagne have the property of cleaning the guest´s palate before eating the main dish. It is important to serve the champagne at a temperature of 6º to 7ºC.
If you prefer to leave the bubbly drink for the end of the meal, then you can start with a young white to pair with the appetizers. We would recommend starting with a fresh young white wine, given that they are very easy to drink.
For example, an Albariño is perfect to pair with a salad, shellfish, or creamy cheeses. The main aromas of an Albariño are lemon, eucalypt, white flower, apricot and saline. Young white are served at a temperature of between 7ºC and 10ºC.
Bear in mind that it is better to serve wines a couple of degrees cooler than too hot, as the bottle can recover the two degrees of room temperature after a few moments when the bottle is opened, and the glasses are filled.
For the main dish, depending on the meal that you are serving, we recommend an aged white wine or a Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva red. If you are serving a fish meal, for example, baked fish, we recommend an aok Chardonnay, as its aromas will pair perfectly with the fish.
If you are serving red meat, for example, a dish of Iberian pork with and-made gnocchi, we recommend a Reserva. Its aromas of ripe blackberry, cherry and plum will balance with a meat dish, making it even more delicious.
For dessert, we can opt for a sweet or for sparkling wine. Both options are perfect to pair with desserts. If you are serving a deep-coloured chocolate dessert, we recommend then a red sweet wine made of Monastrell grapes.
Of course, a chocolate dessert it´s also nice to pair with a bubbly glass of Moet champagne. As we mentioned, desserts can be paired either with sweet or champagne.
Decanting before serving
For reserve or gran reserva, it is important to use a wine decanter for at least 30 minutes. Decanting has several purposes. The first and best known is to separate the wine from the sediments that have been created inside the bottle during reductive ageing.
These deposits do not impart any strange taste to the drink but can be unpleasant to the eye and can be noticed in the mouth.
Another advantage of decanting is that, by putting the drink in contact with the air, it oxygenates it and helps it to open up and express its full aromatic range more quickly.
It is also a way of eliminating some unpleasant aromas produced during the reduction of the wine in the bottle. It has the disadvantage that sometimes other quality aromas are also eliminated or weakened.
Whites are not usually decanted so often, as they rarely have sediment, although there are some whites that need to be decanted to oxygenate them and make them express their aromas better.
How to serve the wine
It is important to bear in mind that you need to pour the wine on the right-hand side of the guests, given that the wine glasses are also placed on the right side. By doing it that way, it will be easier to serve wines and the guests won´t be disturbed when you are doing so.
How to store the wine
If after your guests leave, you have open bottles on the table, do not worry, don´t throw them away. Bottles can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days once they have been opened. Sparkling ones can be kept in the fridge for 1 to 3 days.
White and rose can be stored for 5 to 7 days with the cork. Oaked white wines can be stored in the fridge for 3 to 5 days with the cork. Reds can be stored for 3 to 5 days in the fridge and sweet wines can last in the fridge for 28 days. So, if you haven´t finished the bottles, you still have time to serve them before throwing them away.
We hope that you enjoyed our article and that you learned the basics of how to properly serve wine for your guests. If you want to know more about tips, wineries and delicious wine pairings, do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter!
Also, don't forget to visit our online wine store to discover the vast selection of premium wines!
See you next time, wine lovers,