Medium/full-bodied, oaked white

White Burgundy, Fume Blanc Lightly chilled 12XC
Light/medium-bodied white/rose Muscadet, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Fino Sherry

Chilled 10XC
Sweet wine Sauternes, Sweet Muscats

Well chilled 6-8XC
Sparkling wine Champagne,
Cava, Asti

Well chilled 6-8XC
Well chilled 5-7XC
Light-bodied red Beaujolais, Bardolino, Valpolicella

Light chilled 12XC
Medium/full-bodied red Claret, Red Burgundy, Rioja, Shiraz, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vintage Port, Amarone della Valpolicella, Barolo

Room temperature 16-18XC

Over-chilling can mask the flavours in white wines.
The average room temperature will vary with the time of year and/or heating or air conditioning. If reds are too cold, they will taste thin and harsh. The most gentle way to warm them is by holding the bowl of the glass in hands. Do not warm reds on a radiator, as they will lose their fruitiness and taste murky, thick and muddy.

Ice buckets or wine coolers are often used to keep wines cold. An ice bucket should be filled 3/4 full with equal quantities of ice and water so that the bottle is fully surrounded by iced water. The water is then able to transfer the heat from the bottle to melt the ice (air acts as an insulator and a bottle in ice alone will chill very slowly until some of the ice has melted).


Red wines are best served in larger-sized glasses. This will allow air to come into contact with a large wine surface and develop the aromas and flavours.

White and rose wines require medium-sized glasses so that the fresh, fruit characteristics are gathered and directed towards the top of the glass.

Sparkling wines are best served in flute glasses. This shape enhances the effect of the bubbles (and thus the wine's aroma), allowing them to travel through a larger volume of the wine before bursting at the top of the glass. For this reason the old-style, saucer-shaped glasses are completely inappropriate, as the bubbles are very quickly lost.

Fortified wines should be served in small glasses to emphasise the fruit characteristics rather than the alcohol. However, the glass should be large enough to allow swirling and nosing.

Opening a bottle of still wine

E Remove the to of the capsule, by cutting round below the lip of the bottle. This can be done with a capsule remover or knife.
E Wipe the neck of the bottle with a clean cloth.
E Draw the cork as gently and cleanly as possible using your selected corkscrew.
E Give the neck of the bottle a final clean inside and out.

Opening a bottle of sparkling wine

Please remember that there is considerable pressure in the bottle. Chilling to the correct temperature helps to reduce this. Even when the wine is chilled, it is possible for the cork to spring violently from the bottle and injure someone.

E Remove the foil and then the wire muzzle.
E The cork must be held in place by the hand from the moment the wire is removed.
E Tilt the bottle at an angle of about 30XC, gripping the cork, and use the other hand to grip the base of the bottle.
E Turn the bottle, not the cork.
E Hold the cork steady, resisting its tendency to fly out, and ease it slowly out of the bottle.
E The gas pressure should be released with a quiet phut, not an explosion and flying cork.

Decanting wine

Wines with a deposit need to be decanted. This is quite natural and is formed during the ageing process of many good red wines. Some young wines benefit from the aeration that occurs by being decanted, though this can be done as easily by swirling the wine in a glass. Note that airing a wine by opening a bottle some time before service does Absolutely No Good At All. Too little of the wine is in contact with the air for it to have any effect.

E First remove the bottle horizontally from its rack and place in a decanting basket if available. Alternatively, hold carefully, making sure the deposit is not agitated.
E Very gently remove the top of the capsule and clean the shoulder and neck of the bottle. Very gently remove the cork.
E Remove the bottle from the basket, being careful not to disturb the deposit. Holding the bottle in front of a light, pour the wine carefully into the decanter until the deposit can be seen near the neck. At this point stop pouring.

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