There are every day, quaffable wines, and then you have collector’s items, real masterpieces crafted to be enjoyed for decades to come. White, red, rosé and bubbly, wine is larger than life.
Enjoying our favorite fermented juice is an invitation to learn more about it. The more you know about wine regions, winemaking practices and producers, the more enjoyable is wine itself. Every time you stick your nose in a wine glass, you get transported to a verdant vineyard somewhere, and that’s pretty cool.
One of the most important things to master to enjoy wine at its fullest is opening a bottle of wine properly. That’s what we’re talking about today, mainly because we can’t wait for you to practice your new skills and pour that precious liquid in some awesome unbreakable wine glasses. Let’s get started!
Let’s Start With The Basics
To open a bottle of wine, you need a corkscrew. You might not know this, but every wine lover is also a corkscrew collector; there are so many gadgets and appliances to pull out a cork that it’s hard not to end up with a small (or rather large) collection.
To open a bottle of wine properly, though, you might want to leave your electric wine opener, your twin-prong cork puller and your winged corkscrew in the drawer. You need a straightforward and practical two-step lever corkscrew, also called a waiter’s friend.
If you want to follow a proper restaurant-service, and you might if you’re pouring wine to that special someone on date night, you’ll also want to have a few nicely folded cloth napkins in hand.
Other than that, get some wine glasses, or a set of unbreakable wine glasses when appropriate. Don’t worry about decanters, aerators and other wine paraphernalia. Today we’re going old-school, just a proper wine opening service that won’t disappoint.
How To Open A Bottle Of Wine Step-By-Step
- First, make sure your wine is at the right temperature. Anywhere between 10°C and 16°C (50°F and 60°F) is fine for reds. For white wine, rosé, and sparkling wine, aim for a temperature between 4°C and 10°C (40°F and 50°F). Warmer than that, and the alcoholic warmth will be overpowering. Serve it too cold, and you’ll miss the wine’s aromas.
- Place the bottle on the table with the label facing your guests.
- Grab the bottle’s neck with your left hand and use the serrated blade in your corkscrew to cut the capsule below the neck’s ‘ring.’ Place the foil in your pocket and never on the table.
- Clean the top of the cork and the bottle’s mouth with a napkin. That will remove any dust or mold, preventing it from contaminating your wine.
- Pull out the corkscrew’s spiral and insert it firmly but gently without piercing the cork all the way through. Now use the lever to pull out the cork without disturbing the bottle much. Slowly but surely, every cork gives in eventually.
- Clean the bottle’s mouth with the napkin to remove any cork sediments.
- Now, remove the cork from the spiral and present it to your guests. There’s no need for sniffing it, but your guests are free to do so if they want to.
- Grab the bottle firmly with your right hand as if you were shaking someone’s hand. Try to avoid covering the label.
- It’s time to pour the wine, so grab a napkin with your left hand to catch any dripping and navigate your way clockwise around the table pouring wine over your guests’ right shoulder. Your wine glasses should be already placed aligned with the knife.
- Pour women first, then the men. Pour yourself last. A five-ounce pour, meaning five pours per bottle, is adequate, but you can pour less than that if you have more than five guests.
- Place the bottle within everyone’s reach. People like to take pictures of it. If you’re pouring white wine, leave it in an ice bucket with plenty of ice and water.
- Finally, taste the wine and share your impressions with your guests without being snobby.
To get the conversation started, here’s how resistant your unbreakable stemless wine glasses are. How’s that for a fun topic?