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Are you Serving your Wine in the Best Order?

You’re going to serve a selection of wines during a meal.

Ignore food and wine matching for an instant: wines are generally best served going from the lightest to the most full-bodied, from the youngest to the oldest, and from the driest to the sweetest. Accordingly, you should avoid serving ten year old Shiraz and then offer a refreshing Pinot Gris. As your dishes are also best served in an order from lighter to heavier, this is usually not too difficult to achieve.

 

One fancy exception to the rule though: after a series of hearty dishes and matching wines, why not invite your guests to rinse their palates with champagne before moving on to desert? Vintage, if you have it. It will brighten both taste buds and spirits.

If you have an expansive cellar and guests with a wine interest, some fun ideas to try are vertical tastings (different vintages of a same wine for comparison), or horizontal tastings (taste different varietals or wine regions of the same vintage).

 

One last guideline to keep in mind: if you are going to serve a very special wine, which is meant to be the “guest of honour” of the evening, make sure you don’t wait too long before bringing it out. Wine dulls the senses including smell and taste (not to mention the attention span of your guests. Later in the evening, the fabulous wine will not receive the attention it deserves - neither from your guests or your taste buds.