Wine Etiquette 101

December 13, 2023

Wine is a beverage that has been enjoyed for thousands of years and has become an integral part of many cultures around the world. However, with its rich history and cultural significance comes a certain level of etiquette that should be followed when enjoying a glass of wine. Whether you are a seasoned wine connoisseur or a newcomer to the world of wine, understanding proper wine etiquette is essential to fully appreciate the experience.

 

SERVING WINE

Serving wine properly is key for a successful dinner celebration. The first step to serving is choosing the proper glassware for the wine you are serving. For example, sparkling, white, rosé and light red wines will need a narrow rim as they concentrate the aromatics and will help the wine stay chilled. Full-bodied wines require a wider rim and bowl which allows the wine to better aerate.

Infographic on how to chill wine

On top of choosing the proper glassware, make sure that the wine is being served at a proper temperature. We recommend following the 3-2-1 rule for refrigerating. 3 hours for sparkling, 2 hours for white and rosé and 1 hour for reds. Additionally, depending on the type of wine you are serving, red wines may taste better being decanted. View this video on how to decant.

When pouring a glass of wine for your guest, try not to overfill their glass. A normal serving of wine is 5 oz, meaning a bottle contains around 5 glasses of wine. We recommend filing the glass up to the widest part of the bowl. 

 

TASTING WINE

There is a process all wine professionals follow: 5 S’s of Wine Tasting

 

The first S is ‘see’. Hold your glass against a white background in a well-lit room to admire the color & clarity. A wine's color is influenced by its age & grape variety. As wines age, white wines gain vibrancy, while red wines may lose some pigment.

 

The next step to wine tasting is ‘swirl’. Hold your glass in front of you, or place on a flat surface, and gently rotate it so the wine swirls about in the glass. Swirling helps aerate and "open up" the wine, releasing its natural aromas.

 

The third S is ‘smell’. Stick your nose down inside your glass and take a quick, deep inhalation. Much of wine's pleasure is the aroma from the grapes, and the bouquet, which reflects the winemaking process.

 

The fourth and our favorite S is ‘sip’.  Take a small sip, roll it to coat your tongue (like swishing mouthwash) and breathe in a little air to release the aroma as you are tasting.

 

The final S is ‘savor’. Most wines have a lingering aftertaste or "finish" even once you've completed the tasting.

 

 

GENERAL ETIQUETTE

When holding a wine glass, it may seem logical to cup the bowl. However, this warms up the wine, making it less enjoyable. The proper way is to hold the glass near the bottom of the stem. More specifically, between your thumb and forefinger.

Having good wine etiquette can greatly enhance your wine tasting experience and leave a positive impression on those around you. By following these simple tips, you can become a pro at wine etiquette and enjoy the full spectrum of flavors and aromas that wine has to offer.

Cheers!

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