Everyday Wine Serving Etiquette

By choosing to discuss wine serving etiquette, I feel I am skirting close to the category of snob, so I need to be careful about how important this is.  The fact is that there are some aspects of serving that will ultimately effect and enhance the taste.  In the end, I am all about the wine, especially the taste.

Let’s start from the beginning.

Wine Serving Temperature

It is important to know the best serving temperatures, because wine served at the correct temperature will influence the aroma, and resultant taste.  Have you ever had a wine that should be chilled, served to you at room temperature?  You know that the taste is just not right.

When we discuss the proper serving temperature, we are referring to the temperature of the wine from bottle to glass.  It is recommended that red and white be stored at different temperatures.  As you recall, the best cooler that is recommended for people who store both red and white wine, is a dual zone cooler.  The dual zone cooler will allow one to keep the red at its’ ideal temperature, while the white serving temperature would be colder.

Once the wine has been removed from the cooler and made its way to the table, keep it cool by putting the bottle in a wine cooler bucket filled with ice or use a wine cooler sleeve.

A simple list to remember, is that the temperature goes from coldest to warmest, starting with Desert or Iced Wine the coldest and getting gradually warmer as the vino become darker, to the bold red wines.

Below is a Wine Serving Temperature Guide


Wine Serving Temperature guide

Courtesy of Snooth

Decanting: all Part of the Illusion

Decanting is the fancy word for pouring.  When you decant wine, basically you are pouring it from the bottle to another vessel, the decanter.  The wine is then served from the decanter.  Sometimes, in a restaurant, for example, the decanted wine will be poured back into the bottle, and then served to patrons.

This decanting process is performed on wines that have aged in the bottle, typically red wines, not white wines, with the intent of removing the wine from any sediment that may have gathered in the aging process. Sediment is disagreeable to the eye and can be objectionable in the mouth.  This is the primary reason for decanting a wine.

Decanting should be done 5 minutes to 2 hours before serving.  Because decanting is usually done to aged wine, the red wine serving temperature is a minor concern.

There is a faction of wine drinkers that think that decanting a cheap wine could help it taste better, due to the aeration.

The decanter that you use should be glass and easy to clean.  Use a hypoallergenic fragrance free soap for cleaning, and rinse well to ensure there is no residue.

The decanter should also be pretty in addition to functional!

 Pouring  the Wine: Finesse and Flare


There is a certain amount of anticipation that is linked to witnessing the desiredetiquette involved in properly pouring a glass of wine.  The rituals are taught to servers in better restaurants, and it becomes a part of the whole experience of dinning out.  This act of pouring wine also contributes to the reputation of wine snobbery.

wine snob

When pouring a glass of wine there are fundamental steps that should be easy to remember and follow.

When you pour the wine into the glass you should cradle the bottle with both hands, and carefully pour approximately 4 -5 ounces into the glass.  In order to prevent the last portion of wine dribbling down the neck of the bottle, you should twist it at the end of the pour.  The pour should fall from a distance of about 6-10 inches, if you are comfortable.  This may take some practise.  This amount of space allows air to enter the wine, which will affect the aroma and taste by softening the tannins.


I try to make the act of serving wine into an enjoyable, participatory event!


If you have any questions or comments, I welcome them below.Judy


Judith Laverty


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  1. Lolita DAvella

    June 22, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I like your post. I didn’t realize the etiquette of pouring wine. Nice to know now.

    1. Judith

      June 22, 2017 at 7:53 am

      Thank you for your comment. Etiquette adds more interest to wine drinking.

  2. Penny

    June 22, 2017 at 9:58 am

    This is fascinating. I’ve enjoyed wine as an amateur for a long time, but had no idea that there was anything beyond “refrigerated” for whites/sparkling or “room temperature” for reds. I’m now living in the land of glorious Pinot Noir so I will give your 68 degree suggestion a shot!

    1. Judith

      June 22, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Thank you for the comment. Pinot Noir is one of my favourites. A sommelier once told me: “you can never go wrong with a Pinot Noir!”

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