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Wine Info
Storing and Serving Wine

Wine Service: The Basic Procedures

The first contact with the customer is at the moment of the presentation of the wine list, which should be done either together with the menu or after a pause when the diners have had a chance to consider the dishes. The sommelier should be ready with suggestions on the best choice of wine or wines to accompany the dishes chosen, if the customer seeks advice.

Having taken the order, the sommelier should quickly check that all the bottles to be served are at proper temperatures or will be by the time they are opened. If any bottles are still in the cellar, sparkling or white wines will need to be cooled slightly and mature reds will need to be gradually warmed a few degrees. The first bottle to be served should be brought to the table so that the customer can check the wine and vintage from the label and confirm the order.

A serving table should be then placed nearby and the bottle opened and tasted observing the following procedure:

During the meal, check the level of wine in the glasses frequently and provide refills before any is empty. If there is a change of wine, bring the correct set of glasses to table and repeat the serving procedure. Remove the preceding glass only with each diner's consent.

Decanting Wine
The decanting of wine is necessary if the wine needs aeration or the bottle contains sediment.

Aeration
This may be necessary mainly for young or medium-aged wines. It may be useful for the following types:

To Separate Sediment
This is a more delicate operation. It is done with red wines from old vintages that have a deposit caused by the natural precipitation of tannins and coloring substances. The following accessories are required for the operation:

If the bottle to be served has been standing upright at room temperature the sediment should have collected at the base. If it is brought directly from the cellar, where it has been stored horizontally, the bottle must be carried with extreme care and kept in an almost horizontal position to avoid disturbing the sediment. After being shown to the guests, it should be placed in a cradle and left for at least 15 minutes before decanting.

After opening the bottle and checking the cork in the normal way, the operation should proceed as follows:

Serving Sparkling Wines
Place the correct glasses "flutes" at each table setting and bring the ready chilled bottle 90-100C from the refrigerator for the customer's approval. It should then be opened at the service table. The accessories required are:

The correct procedure for opening and serving the bottle is as follows: