Have you ever wondered about whether decanting a wine is really necessary? Do you think about where you store your wine? What size glasses should you pour? Look no further! In this blog we are sharing our expertise about storing and serving wine so that you get the best from every bottle you buy - whether it's from us or somebody else.
If you have just bought a bottle of wine and you intend to consume it in the next couple of weeks (or hours) then you probably don't need to think too much about where it's stored. A large amount of new world wine is intended for immediate consumption hence the screw top. But if you buy wine to consume at some point in the future, or you buy wine as an investment then this will be crucially important. Always remember that wine is a living thing and it therefore changes and evolves over time. Wine is sensitive to both temperature and light, so it's important to store it somewhere where the temperature will remain constant (generally between 11 and 15 degrees is best so discount anywhere close to your boiler or hot water tank).
You also want to keep it away from direct sunlight as this can "cook" the wine inside. There's nothing worse than looking forward to a bottle of wine you bought some time ago, perhaps to mark a special occasion, and opening it to discover it's gone off or certainly past its best. Humidity can also play a part as if the environment is too dry then this may dry out the cork which will also affect the wine. Lastly always store wine bottles lying on their sides as this will also help to stop the cork from drying out.
Serving the wine
If you're drinking a wine that is meant for immediate consumption, (often screwcap, end bay of the aisle at the supermarket) then it’s unlikely that these wines will need decanting. However, if the wine has been stored for some time then decanting is essential. Decanting the wine allows the wine to "wake up" and come to life which will improve its taste. Aside from improving the taste of the wine as it starts to breathe, it will also save you that mouthful of sediment at the end that can temper the enjoyment! We suggest decanting the wine about two hours before you serve it. Older wines will not last as long as younger wines once they have been decanted so bear that in mind in order to get the best from the wine you've been saving.
The choice of glass is also important. If you really enjoy wine and like trying different varieties then a selection of glassware is really important. If you're consuming high quality wine then high quality glassware will improve the experience for you. A stem is a must for a wine glass because if you hold the glass top then that will affect the temperature of the wine. If you have decanted an older wine that has been laid down for a while then a larger glass will help to get the air to the wine and to enhance it. You can then also swirl the wine round your glass like a proper wine expert! This might look like an odd thing to do but it can tell you a lot about the wine (we can feel a blog on tasting coming on). Although we do advise caution in doing this if you have a cream carpet and are drinking red wine.
We also suggest that you don't fill your glass to the brim as this can affect the taste of the wine. We suggest pouring a smallish glass so the wine can be exposed to the air in the glass. In addition to this if you're drinking white wine and you pour a large glass the temperature will vary from the first sip to the last which will also affect the taste. If you like the wine then you can always pour another glass! We're not suggesting you don't finish the bottle, we just want you to enjoy every drop.