November 12, 2015

How to serve wine on table

Believe it or not, there is a right way to open a bottle of wine. As in all things eaten or imbibed, it’s important to use hygienic methods. In a fancy restaurant, the waiter will usually present the bottle of wine in a cloth napkin or towel which he then places over one shoulder as he cuts the foil off the top of the bottle.

Speaking of waiters, the corkscrew that waiters most often use is called a two-step corkscrew. This kind hides a nice little knife with a bit of a curved edge to it that’s perfect for cutting the foil off the bottle. It’s best not to tear the foil, because we don’t want to knock any dirt onto the cork or surrounding area.

Remember, that expensive bottle of wine may have been collecting dust while it was aging. So, the best thing to do is to cut below the lip of the bottle. By twisting the bottle in one direction and the knife in the opposite direction, a neat line can be formed so that the top of the foil will just slip right off, revealing a nice, clean cork. If the foil doesn’t slide off, use the knife to scrape it off, scraping upwards. You may want to wipe off the cork and the area before applying the corkscrew. Place the tip of the corkscrew into the very center of the cork, pressing gently to get it started, keeping it aimed to the middle of the cork. You don’t want pieces of cork to break off into the wine. Neither do you want to pierce the bottom of the cork. So, when the corkscrew reaches about halfway, that’s a good time to stop and place the first step of the corkscrew onto the lip of the bottle. There’s no rush.

This is a fun ceremony for your guests to watch and a great way to impress the ladies. Using a little finesse can set the stage and ensure that there are no annoying little bits in your wine glasses. So, once the step is leaning on the lip, gently pull up until the cork is about halfway out, being careful not to bend the cork too drastically. Then, you should be able to set the second step of the corkscrew onto the lip of the bottle to gain a little more leverage. That cork wants to come out of the bottle. When it does, there will usually be a very satisfying little pop at the end.

Ah! Let it breathe. It’s usually up to the guest of honour to decide if the wine is worthy. So, the procedure is to place a thimble full of wine into a wine glass or goblet for him or her to test. The wine tester will swirl the wine in the glass to see its oiliness. They will smell test it, hold it to the light and finally put the wine to their lips, closing their eyes to elevate their sense of smell. That delightful smile tells you that the wine is worthy. With that, the wine is served, filling each glass a little less than half-way. Cheers!