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Posted: Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:20

The Wine Etiquette

March 11: Wine is not just a celebrated drink but holds a seasoned place in the history of beverages and like everything in a human life having certain code of conduct and etiquette, wine is no exception, writes our guest writer Deep Malhotra who believes that one should really know about wine etiquettes before feeling its flawless experience

Click For Large ViewThere are wine fanatics, those principal aficionados of superior wine; there are also wine lovers or those who just value wine. The former category has a propensity to be sterner in their conduct and in how they serve and taste wines. The essential canon of wine etiquette applies to all those who like a glass or two of wine every so often, perhaps some who congregate and even possess a small shelf or subterranean vault and want to augment our admiration, knowledge and above all else, pleasure.

There are a few things which should be kept in mind as far as wine etiquettes are concerned as it is much more than just holding a goblet and tasting it. There is a complete constitution of these etiquettes which ought to be followed. Starting from choosing the best pick, ordering wine in a restaurant , temperature, uncorking, aeration and pouring and serving including holding style, storage etc. Being a manufacturer and a keen wine lover I believe that wine tastes best if taken with courtesy. The preferences differ from person to person. Some are nuts over Cabernet Sauvignon while others might go for radiant red Pinot Noir from Burgundy or a white Riesling from Germany.

When it comes to ordering wine in a restaurant, it is wise to ask the sommelier there. He is specially trained and is a knowledgeable wine expert. The restaurant’s wine list is shaped by him/her. He has an intricate knowledge about all the wines included in the list. One should never hesitate in consulting him for suggestions depending on your food choices, preferences and prices.

But one should also be prepared for some answers before asking the sommelier for assistance- like what kind of wine, cuisine and food  you be ordering with it, whether you would like to try new wines or how much you want to drink or spend ? Your clarity of answers will result in an awesome wine experience.

Thirdly, you should have a clear goblet with long stem, thin rim and obviously good capacity to let the wine swirl around to give a fabulous look.  You must have a visual inspection of the bottle and the label to ensure it is the same wine and vintage you ordered. If not, feel free to tell the server who will then remove the cork and put it on the table in front of you. Pick it up, examine it and squeeze it to determine if it is dry and crumbly or completely wet – both of these clues indicate if air might have entered the bottle and spoiled the wine. Thereafter, he/she will pour a small amount of wine into your glass. Look at it against a white background. Swirl it, put your nose in the glass, and take a deep breath. Take a sip and roll it around in your mouth before you swallow. If you don’t detect any flaws, nod to the server. That’s what it takes to have an enormously delighting adventure.

Click For Large ViewWhat is important to the beginners is to detect that if the wine smells like wet cardboard, tastes like vinegar, or is otherwise flawed.  You should give it back by simply saying you are afraid the bottle is bad and would like to return it. Even if you are the only one that notices a flaw, the server should replace the bottle.  The restaurant will send the bottle back to the distributor for free replacement.

I have been working in this industry for years and our company is successfully ranked the topmost liquor enterprise in Punjab, India.  I learnt over the years that temperature plays a vital role in wine storing. Wine is something alive. I must say that it actually breathes and it has a multipart chemistry that changes with temperature and environment. For that rationale alone and to enjoy the real character of wine, it is essential to store it correctly. Here is a detailed chart to depict the relevance of temperature for serving different type of wines.

Type Of Wine

Fahrenheit

Celsius

Sparkling

42 to 54

6 to 10

Rose

48 to 54

9 to 12

White

48 to 58

9 to 14

Sherry (Light)

48 to 58

9 to 14

Red

57 to 68

13 to 20

Fortified (Port)

57 to 68

13 to 20

Sherry (Dark)

57 to 68

13 to 20

Sources: Web

Although right temperature is important like every other ingredient in wine etiquettes, equally crucial is the uncorking of wine. Some basic rules state that for red wines, you should remove the cork about an hour before you drink it. The oxidation course will shape the bouquet of the wine and help you detect the tang of the vintage. The phrase "let it breathe" indeed fits here. In fact, you may also empty the wine to let it breathe. White wines tend to fade in the glass the longer you keep the bottle open at room temperature. Uncork just before you serve the guests.

The world of wine is really interesting but the etiquette codes go with it. You have wine devoid of  bubbles but most are devoid of bubbles. If your wine sparkles, pour it down the side of the glass to guard the prized bubbles. If your wine is still, decant it in the middle of the glass to let the bouquet pervade the vessel and hover up. You should never fill a glass more than two-thirds or even halfway for some. If you plan to try several wines during the course of a feast, serve even less than that each glass. Obviously, that depends on type of the party.

Rules may be broken but in case of wine, it is worth following the trusted wine etiquettes to have a great, luscious wine experience. Cheers!

Deep Malhotra

Click For Large ViewDeep Malhotra, our Guest Writer, is the Chairman & Managing Director of The Oasis Group. It has diversified business operations in the field of Distilleries, Breweries, Hospitality, Diamonds, Exports & Government Contracts. The Oasis Distilleries Ltd., a unit of the Group was incepted in 2001 in the field of Distilleries and Breweries and has achieved annual sales of Rs. 1.5 billion in 2014-15. It targets to achieve Rs. 2.0 billion by the next financial year.

The views expressed in the Article are entirely those of the writer-editor

 

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