Entertaining with Proper Wine Etiquette
October 11, 2018
No matter what the occasion, when you’re hosting a wine tasting or dinner, etiquette is extremely important. Of course some things are a given - like ladies and eldest first, offer to refill others’ glasses before you serve yourself and ask before taking the last pour from the wine bottle – but that isn’t all you need to consider!
What’s on the menu? What wine do you serve with certain foods?
As you go about planning your event, one of the first things you’ll do is plan the food. Be sure that whatever food you serve, you choose a wine that complements your choice. If you are wondering which foods go best with certain wines, have no fear, we are always glad to help –check out our pairing guide.
Quick tips: If you are going to serve wine with a specific course, remember: salad can be overpowered by a bold glass of wine, crisp white wine could be overshadowed by the main entrée, and dessert always calls for a sweeter wine to complement it.
How much wine will I need?
Okay… so now you have selected the food and are at least on the right track of thinking about a specific wine or wines that you are going to serve. Now… just make sure that you have enough wine! Nothing spoils an event more than not having enough wine. After all - it is a wine gathering.
Do I need fancy glassware?
Although you don’t necessarily need different wine glasses, there are specific glasses that can make a glass of wine more enjoyable. Depending on your guests and how fancy your occasion, it might be wise to serve your wine in the glass it serves best in.
For example, Riedel, the famous wine glass company, makes a wine glass specifically for Nortonand Vignoleswines. If you plan to serve sparkling wines, use a tall and thin flute glass or even a white wine glass so the bubbles don’t dissipate into the air.
To chill or not to chill?
Here’s a tip. Remember the 3-2-1 rule: chill sparkling for 3 hours, white wines for 2, and red wines for 1 hour. In addition to the chilling, there is also a trick to the wines that you open and when. Sparkling and white wines are best opened just prior to serving, while red wines can be opened well before serving to allow them to “breathe” – red wines are best once they’ve had the chance to mix with air and develop their full aroma and flavor.
When pouring wine, what is the right amount to pour for each guest?
We alluded to this earlier, noting that each glass should be about 4-5 ounces, but we know that isn’t the easiest to judge without a measurement tool. Even though we believe in the glass always being “half-full”, it is important to know that you should only fill the glass about 1/3 to halfway (sparkling wines being the exception) – this allows your guest to swirl the wine to open and release the aromas for maximum flavor and enjoyment.
Saving the best for last… be prepared!
All of the above steps are important, but the most important thing is to simply be prepared. Make sure that you have all of the necessities before your event begins. Things you will definitely need to have on hand are: corkscrews, glasses, food, palate cleansers (crackers or bread), dump bucket, water pitcher, napkins, water and/or coffee and wine charms for guests.
And most of all, always remember, enjoy yourself!