We’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting the parents for the first time or having your close friends over for a Friday wine night, hosting can be intimidating. Before polishing off all of the wine in an attempt to calm your pre-party nerves, follow these simple wine etiquette steps to seriously impress your guests:
1) Set the scene
When setting your table, wine glasses should be placed to the right of the water glasses in the order in which they will be used:
- White wine
- Red wine
*If only one type of wine is going to be served, then you just made this step even easier!
2) Find the right temp
Before serving, your wine should be chilled or slightly chilled (yes, even some reds) to exhibit its best aromas. Preference also matters, however, so if you like drinking everything room temp., go for it. It’s your party and you can chill if you want to:
- Sparkling Wine - Ice cold. 38-50 degrees F.
- White Wine - Fridge cold. 44-57 degrees F.
- Light Red wine - Cool. 55-63 degrees F.
- Bold Red wine - Slightly cool. 63-69 degrees F.
3) Uncork it
While there’s no major difference in the quality of wine stored in corked bottles vs. screw top bottles, uncorking your wine does add a fun (or interesting) element to your hosting endeavors.
- To remove the foil, use your corkscrew’s knife to cut under the second lip on the bottle. This will help you avoid potential drips or spills.
- Screw the opener ¾ of the way through, so no bits of cork end up in your wine. Cork won’t kill you, but no one wants to chew their vino.
- Finally, remove the cork! The pros will tell you to try and avoid making any noise while doing so.
4) Make some pour decisions
- Always pour wine from the right side of your guests.
- A standard serving of wine is about 5-6 oz. (hint hint: that’s about ⅓ full for red wine glasses, ½ full for white wine glasses, and ¾ full for sparkling wine glasses)
- Twist the bottle when you’ve finished pouring each glass, to prevent drips on your table or friends.