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 10 year old Shiraz and then offering a refreshing Pinot Gris.
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 vintage champagne before moving on to desert?
If you have a very complete cellar and guests which are wine enthusiasts, 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’re 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, otherwise your taste buds will no longer register anything!
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