How to Serve Wine – It’s All About Foreplay

November 11, 2019

How hard can it be to serve wine? Just open the bottle and pour a glass, right?

Well, at Winedab, we don’t like to make things complicated – but learn these two basic moves, and you’ll enjoy that first sip all the more. It’s all about foreplay – get that right and you’ll definitely enjoy the main event more 🙂

So what does this mean in practical terms?

Is it getting hot in here?

Of course you knew that you serve red wine at room temperature, and you chuck white wine in the fridge.

But did you know that the term “room temperature” originated in Europe – where homes were generally around 15-18° C. Warmer than a Dunedin student flat, but much colder than the average Auckland home. At 21 ° or more, red wine can taste flat or dull. So to enjoy your red wine at its best, chuck it in the fridge for an hour before you serve (I know – thinking ahead!). Don’t let it get too cold though, or the flavours will shut down!

But what about white wine, you ask? Yes, serve it chilled, but not fridge cold. You see, your average fridge is probably between 0-4°C, whereas most white wines are best at around 10°. Below that, they lose a lot of their taste. So, take your bottle out of the fridge half an hour before you serve it. And, don’t worry, if you forget, you can let it warm up in the glass (ok, that might be harder than it sounds).

So, now can I drink my wine?

Hold on a minute – there’s one more thing you can do to maximise your enjoyment.


You see, your wine has been cooped up in a bottle for a year or more, and that means that it hasn’t been exposed to oxygen. We could go into a lot of technical wine jargon, but you’re not here for that – you just want wine that you love, am I right?

So, all you need to know is that for most red wines, and some white wines, exposing them to oxygen before serving them, makes them a lot more attractive. Just opening the bottle isn’t enough though, because the neck of the bottle is – not to put too fine a point on it – too small. That’s why you see wine being poured into decanters.

But, of course most of us don’t have decanters, so there are a couple of things you can do – pour the wine into the glass and let it sit, and swirl it around in the glass for a few seconds before you start drinking it. The swirling action increases the surface area of the wine exposed to oxygen and speeds up the process. It has the added advantage of making you look like you know what you’re doing!

So there we have it – not too warm or too cold, and pause for oxygen before you engage!

Fortunately for our subscribers, all of Winedab’s tasting notes tell you what is the best temperature to serve the wine we’ve selected for you, so all you have to do is worry about which bottle you’re drinking tonight.

Are you going to give it a try? If you do, please let us know how you go: . We would love if you can taste the difference or not.

You can also use this information to make yourself look smart to your friends. Wine not?

About Winedab
Winedab discovers you wine taste profile through six simple questions, and then delivers six hand picked wines each month to your door. And at about the same price as the supermarket

Find out more about Winedab here, or discover your wine profile here.

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Where It All Began…

I saw that many of my friends had the same issue. They used similar tactics to avoid the choice overload – always choose the same grape or region, look for the awards, find a nice label, or, search somewhere in my memory – “what did I have last time?”.


Are you an ABC?

Some of you looked at the region, and some of you have a go-to winery. Yet others knew the wines they DIDN’T like – we heard a few ABCs – “Anything but Chardonnay!” (It wasn’t just Chardonnay; many of you have grape varieties that you don’t particularly like).