We face so many question about serving wine at home. Especially as we get ready to entertain over the holiday season. It does not have to be stressful once you realize there are very few things that are absolutely wrong. Yes, there are best practices for serving wine, but there are plenty of practices that also end with you drinking wine, which was the goal.
I had so much fun visiting with the team at KGW Portland Today to talk about this topic. We talked about how to choose wine glasses, decanting young wine, and serving temperature. See our segment below on Best Practices for Serving Wine.
Best Practices for Serving Wine – Decanting Young Wine
In this segment we decanted a 2014 Griffin Creek Rogue Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. When Cabs are young 2-3 years from release, they can have more tannin that dries your mouth or tastes a little bitter. Their flavors and aromas can be tight. They are still delicious. Open your wine before guests arrive and decide if you like it or want to decant. You can serve without decanting. Swirling the wine in the glass will allow oxygen to interact with the wine softening those tannins and making the aromas blossom. Decanting speeds that process. If you decant a young wine do so 30-60 minutes before serving. Leaving a bottle open does not aerate wine. There is not enough surface area in contact with the air. Whether you decant or not, you would be sure to enjoy this Cabernet Sauvignon from Griffin Creek.
Best Practices for Serving Wine – Choosing the “Right” Wine Glass
We did not have time in this segment to show some “wrong” choices. Plastic cups taste like plastic. I carry a wine glass in my purse just in case a red solo cup is what I am offered at a party. A “wine glass” shape is important too. A martini glass, while made of glass, will spill the aromas (and your wine) when you swirl.
All of our wine glass choices had two things in common (in addition to being actual glass.)
- Big enough bowls so the wine can spread out and aerate when you swirl.
- Tapered lips to direct the flavors and aromas to your nose and mouth.
The glass will also tell you how much wine to pour. Pouring to the widest part of the bowl, maximizes your swirl to slosh ratio and gives you 5-6 glasses per bottle.
Yes we showed a Riedel glass JUST for Oregon Pinot Noir and one JUST for Cabernet Sauvignon. If you want to wine geek out and have a different glass for every grape, go for it. You can even get glasses that supposedly make the wine hit your palate at different points. Or you can get a nice set of all purpose wine glasses (good for reds, whites, roses) and don’t stress. Stemless glasses are handy too. Great for those rowdy parties (see you don’t need plastic), small storage spaces, or people with bad kitties that knock things over. Bottom line, if you pour your Cab in your Pinot glass, congratulations you have a lovely glass of Cabernet.