Wine Serving 101

By / Magazine / October 20th, 2017 / 8

You’ve selected your favourite wine and prepared the perfect dinner pairing; now it’s just a matter of serving the wine so that all of the flavours shine. To have all the finesse of a sommelier at your own dinner party, follow these simple guidelines.


Check the back label for the ideal serving temperature from the producer. If there is no ideal serving temperature, here are some general guidelines:

  • Light, dry whites, rosés, sparkling wines: 4 to 10°C
  • Full-bodied whites and light, fruity reds: 10 to 16°C
  • Full-bodied reds and port: 16 to 18°C

Remember that the wine will warm up in the glass, releasing new aromas and characters, so serving slightly over-chilled isn’t the end of the world.


  • Clear crystal, so the wine’s colour and appearance is unimpeded.
  • Thin rim, so there isn’t anything affecting the feel of the wine as it passes your lips.
  • Large bowl that holds 10 to 18 oz.
  • White wine in glasses with a thin opening, to concentrate the aromas.
  • Red wine in glasses with a wider opening, to help the wine aerate and open up in the glass.
  • Sparkling wine in tall, thin glasses to concentrate the bubbles.
  • Dessert wine in small glasses for more concentrated portions.


  • Standard pour is 5 to 6 oz. If you need a visual, pour 3/4 cup water into a wine glass.
  • Have a napkin on hand to wipe up any spills.
  • Hold the wine bottle near or on the label.
  • Pour into the middle of the glass.
  • Stop deliberately and abruptly; rotate the bottle with a sharp twist as you return the bottle to its vertical position. This snappy motion picks up any drops and forces them back into the bottle.

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