How and when to serve a certain wine, and at what temperature?

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What follows, without being a law, can enlighten you and this classic way is the one that best preserves your taste buds.

What color of wine to drink first?

We serve the youngest wines before the older ones and the lightest before the more full-bodied. Sparkling wines are usually served at the start of the meal and white wines and rosé before reds. Because the tannins of a more powerful wine can neutralize the aromas of a lighter wine, to fully appreciate the acidity and aromas, it is preferable to serve the white and rosé wines before the red ones. You should go for light red wines before full-bodied red ones and keep the sweet wines for the end of the meal. We, therefore, understand that a certain logic is ideally to be respected. Just as generally we do not serve the dessert before the soup nor the soup before the main course nor the main course before the starter.

Ideally, the strength, the degree of alcohol and the quality of the wines increases from a bottle to the next one. It is preferable that the bottle you serve does not make you regret the previous one. Keep in mind to offer the best with each change of wine, so that you will take full advantage of each wine’s particularities.

The serving temperature for sparkling wines is between 8 and 10 degrees. Dry white wines are usually served  between 10 and 12 degrees, mellow and syrupy between 8 and 10. Light red wines should be served from 12 to 14 degrees and full-bodied reds 15 to 16.  As for older wines,18 degrees should be the temperature you aim for.

A low temperature for the white wines will cause your taste buds to not fully appreciate the wine. For red ones, it will slow down the expression of aromas. Too high a temperature reinforces the presence of alcohol and can cause the aromas to disappear.

Despite everything that is written in this article, champagne can very well be served throughout the meal. A white wine can follow a red by accompanying a cheese after the main course. Drinking a glass of water between two wines is always a good idea as it will cleanse the palate of the tannins of the red wine.

Good food and good wine, it is heaven on earth, says Henri IV.

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