You’ve been to the Xtrawine site and you’ve ordered the perfect bottle of wine. You may have even spent a little more than your normal budget on the bottle. Perhaps it’s a special occasion, like a family get-together. Or, maybe you’re looking to impress a new partner during a romantic evening at home.
The point is that you want your wine to be as good as it sounds like it will be.
We’ve written plenty of times about how to store your wine and ensure it’s kept in the right condition.
What you may not know is that the way you pour the drink can actually have a surprising effect on the quality that you end up experiencing.
That’s what we’re here to help you with. In this article, we’re going to look at a few steps that you need to follow to pour the perfect glass of wine.
Follow them and you’ll experience your wine exactly how it was intended.
Step #1 – It All Starts with the Glass
Before you even think about pouring the wine, you need to make sure that your glassware is up to the correct standard. Any dust or grime will have an immediate impact on the wine’s quality as it affects the chemical composition of the drink.
That means that you should closely inspect every glass that you’re looking to use during the night.
Hold the glass up against the light and rotate it slowly. You’re looking for any signs of dirt or grime that you need to get rid of. And cracks or imperfections in the glass may also present an issue.
You’re not out of the woods if you’ve just cleaned the glasses either. Any soapy residue that’s left behind can affect the wine just as much as any grime.
You’re basically looking for anything that taints the surface of the glass. If you find something, use warm water to wash the glass and a clean towel to pat it dry.
Step #2 – Pick the Right Glass
Sticking with the glass, you also have to choose the right glass for the type of wine that you’re going to pour.
This is going to have a pretty big effect over the course of drinking the wine. Happily, there are some pretty simple rules to follow here.
For sparkling Italian wine, it’s best to choose a flute. These are the long, thin glasses that you typically serve champagne in. The key here is that these glasses allow very little oxygen to reach the wine, which means that it stays bubbly and sparkling for even longer.
For red wines, you’re looking to go in the opposite direction. A larger glass with a large bowl works best here. This allows you to swirl and aerate the wine before you start drinking.
White wine requires a glass that falls somewhere in the middle. It should be thin enough to limit the oxygen that reaches the wine without being as thin as the flutes you use for sparkling wines.
Step #3 – Preparing the Bottle
With your glasses at the ready, it’s time to turn your attention to the bottle itself.
There’s likely going to be a little bit of foil around the cork or screw cap. Peel this off carefully while making sure not to leave any behind. You don’t want a stray piece of foil to find its way into the glass.
It’s also a good idea to use a clean cloth to wipe the tip of the bottle. This will get rid of any cork debris that may have gathered. If you wipe after opening the bottle, make sure to wipe away from the opening. This ensures you don’t accidentally brush any debris into the bottle.
Step #4 – Pouring the Wine into the Glass
Start by leaving the glass on the table. There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, you want both hands available so that you keep full control of the bottle. Secondly, this ensures that the glass stays stable as you pour. You may have somebody hold the base of the glass if you’re a little unsure.
Using both hands, position your wine bottle so that you’re almost ready to pour. The key here is that you’re not balancing the bottle on the rim of the glass. You want to achieve a little bit of distance, so you should aim to pour from about 6 inches above the glass. This allows the wine to aerate during the pouring process.
Of course, that also means you need to be in control of the bottle at all times. Use both hands and pour slowly to ensure the wine doesn’t splash back out of the glass.
Once you’re ready to stop pouring, bring the wine bottle back up slowly while applying a gentle twist. This prevents the last drop of wine from dripping down the bottle.
After all, you wouldn’t want to waste even a drop of such an amazing Italian wine.
Step #5 – Wipe the Bottle Again
You’re not quite finished yet. It’s likely that you still have some wine left in the bottle, so it’s a good practice to wipe the bottle with a clean cloth after pouring. This gets rid of any wine that may have dripped onto the bottle.
From there, you can either place the bottle in a decanter or re-seal it. A vacuum pump can help with this if you’re worried about storing the wine again after opening it.
The Final Word
Who’d have thought that pouring a glass of wine could be such an involved process?
Of course, there’s nothing particular wrongwith deviating from these steps a little bit when you pour. However, you will want to follow them if you want to get the absolute best experience from your bottle of wine.
And if you’ve spent a lot of money, it’s only natural to want nothing less than the best.
Consider practicing these steps with some less expensive bottles first. Once you have them down, you’re ready to graduate to the more expensive stuff.
I’m a passionate about good wine and good cooking.
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