Say you want to serve wine at a party, but you’re by no means an expert on all of the intricacies: to decant or not to decant; what’s a tannin; what’s the best way to save unfinished bottles? Here’s a quick overview of everything you need to know to serve and preserve wine like a real pro.
How to uncork wine
Unlike white and sparkling wines (which should be chilled, but otherwise can be served right out of the bottle) most red wines taste better after they’ve been opened up to breathe before being served.
All reds are not created equal
How do you know if a bottle needs to be decanted? Slightly bitter or sharp tasting wines (also known as tannic), such as cabernets and syrahs typically need more air to get all of the flavors to come forward. Pour the wine into a wide-bodied decanter (which provides more surface area for the wine to breathe) at least 30 minutes before serving.
Decanted on demand
Another super handy decanting tool is a wine aerator. Just pop one on the top of your bottle, and it aerates the wine as you pour allowing the full flavor and aroma to come through. There are even aerators specifically designed for white wine and hard liquor.
Save the rest
There’s nothing worse than wasting a half-consumed bottle of wine, so here’s what you can do to preserve it beyond simply cramming the cork back in the bottle. Sold at any good wine shop, wine vacuum sealers preserve wine by sucking the air out of the bottle. Pop a stopper in the top, place it in the fridge and it should last a full week. If it does turn on you, about the only thing it’s good for now is cooking.
Keep wine stoppers or corks on hand
These come in handy if you’re sending the wine home with someone else. Cheers!
|“If I’m just not sure how much my guests will drink, I’ll only decant half a bottle. That way, by the time I get to it, the first half has opened up in the bottle itself.” – Cheryl|