Store and Serve Wine Like a Pro

By on June 29th, 2022 in Blog
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Here are our top tips and handy hints to store and serve wine like a professional. Firstly, let’s look at where it’s stored. Big fluctuations in temperature, as well as direct sunlight, can damage wine and make it undrinkable even after just a few weeks. Avoid kitchens where possible (they get hot) and stay away from radiators. Hallways, under-stairs cupboards and spare bedrooms are best. Next, vertical or horizontal? This one’s easy – Lay it down.  Wine is always happier on its side.  Natural cork can dry out, shrink and let air oxidise the wine. So keep it on its side with the wine in contact with the cork and it stays moist and won’t shrink. And remember, the cold dry air in a fridge will shrink a cork quickly, so if in doubt, lay it down. As for serving tips, read on…

store and serve wine like a pro



A red served like a white?

First up is a red wine that defies the norm. Villa Wolf Pinot Noir is that most elusive of reds: it’s delicious at room temperature or chilled. Chilled red wine might be anathema to some but when it works, it works brilliantly. There are certain things a wine must have to make it taste delicious cold. Firstly tannin – that drying sensation around the teeth and gums you also get with strong black tea. This becomes a lot more pronounced when cold, so always choose a low-tannin wine for chilling. Then fruitiness – strong fruity flavours are delicious cold. Lastly acidity – this needs to be high to keep things refreshing. Villa Wolf has flavours of red and black cherry, redcurrant, a little cooking spice, low tannin and good acidity. While this makes it perfect for chilling, it’s still an absolute belter at room temp, but don’t take our word for it…

villa wolf pinot noir serve wine like a pro


Too cool

White wine. Best to serve this freezing cold, straight out the fridge, right? Well, erm… not necessarily. It’s a tough one. Lots of people want their white wines to provide as much chilled refreshment as possible. Nothing wrong with that – many whites are designed to be drunk very cold. However, when you want a little more depth of flavour, complexity, texture and structure, you need to raise the temp a tad. When something’s very cold, subtle flavours disappear and the more pronounced ones recede. MacRobert & Canals Laventura Rioja Viura is richly layered, deft and elegant. Flavours of honey, peach, lemon, baked apple and vanilla, buttered toast and a delicious creaminess make this one of the world’s finest white Riojas. Why miss out on all that deliciousness by drinking it too cold? Our advice: drink at around 10deg. C – remove from the fridge about 20-30 minutes before serving and revel in its splendour.

laventura viura white rioja serve


Tight Tannins and Central Heating

Received wisdom dictates red wine should be drunk at room temperature. Except there’s one problem. This was advised before the invention of central heating. Back then, the room temperature was about 18-19 degrees centigrade. Today, it’s about 21 degrees C. Top tip: stick it in the fridge for 10 minutes before you serve – it won’t disappoint. Château Les Graves de Viaud Terroir is Biodynamic-certified with flavours of blackcurrant, plums, dark cherries and a little green pepper. It has high, smooth tannin and a lovely acid balance making it about as good as Bordeaux gets for under £50. And while temperature makes a big difference, so does air. Air exposure helps soften tannin, making reds much more drinkable. So pour it into a decanter, jug or large jar (anything to expose a large surface area of wine) and wait an hour or 2. Tight tannins soften and everything just mellows into deliciousness.

bordeaux done good serve


The twist to the twist

Last but by no means least we have our sparkler. Equipo Navazos’s Colet Navazos Extra Brut is a fizz made the same way as champagne, but with a twist. They use a little dry sherry to initiate the secondary fermentation (the one that creates the bubbles). This offers wonderful complexity and some excellent savouriness along with citrus and orchard fruit flavours. As mentioned, drinking anything too cold will diminish some flavours, so try pouring it 5 minutes before you serve to get it to around 8 degrees C. Also, ever had an issue with fizz going everywhere when you open it? Top tip: hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, use a tea towel hold the cork tight and twist the bottle. Then continue holding at 45 degrees for a few seconds after the cork has been released. And Bob’s your uncle! No more frothy spillage.

colet navazos brut serve sherried