There’s no need to be intimidated by wine. Follow these tips and learn how to store and serve it the right way.
General wine tips
A good wine store will be have friendly and knowledgable staff who will be happy to help you find the right wine for your occasion.
- Most white and rosé wines are sold ready for drinking immediately and don’t need laying down.
- You’ll find it’s rarely necessary to spend a lot for an enjoyable glass of wine, and good-quality red wines, except for the lightest, such as Beaujolais, can benefit from careful storage.
- Even cheaper wines will taste better if you serve them properly and at the right temperature.
How to store wine properly
- Ideal conditions for wine storage are darkness and a temperature of around 12°C (54°F). An understairs cupboard, basement or garage will be fine, but with the latter, watch it doesn’t freeze in winter.
- A consistent temperature is more important than coolness. If wine is kept in an area a little cooler or warmer than the ideal, it won’t suffer so much as if it’s subject to sudden temperature change.
- Store bottles in a rack, on their side, so the cork doesn’t dry out. Bottles with a screw cap can be stored upright.
Easy ways to serve wine
- Very expensive red wine may benefit from decanting, but most wine is fine served from the bottle. Have a quick taste to make sure the wine is in good condition and at the right temperature.
- White wine is best served chilled, and red (with rare exceptions) at just below room temperature. An hour or so in the fridge for white wine or three at room temperature for red wine should be just right.
- Open red wine a little ahead of time to let it ‘breathe’.
- Choose glasses large enough to swill around a standard measure (one-sixth of a bottle), since part of the pleasure is to smell it and enjoy the “nose”.
- Keep white wine on ice or in a chiller.
Get the most out of your wine with these tips. You’ll be storing and serving it correctly in no time!