SERVING THE WINE

When to bring the bottle up?

The bottle has to be brought up from the cellar one or several hours in advance. A young wine should be transported and uncorked in vertical position. A bottle of venerable age (risk of deposit) will be set down with precaution in a pouring basket and served without being straightened.
In case the wine has to be bought, it should be done the day before at the latest. Leave it to settle standing up in the dark in the coolest place. Never keep it too long in the refrigerator.

When to open the bottle?

By removing the cork beforehand, the wine is allowed to breathe, to oxygenate, and eliminate possible parasitic odors (sulfurous anhydride, mercaptans, etc.). Uncork the bottle, taste the wine and choose to put the cork back (healthy young wines, very old wines with subtle and volatile esters), let open (parasitic odors) or decant.

When to decant?

Decantation allows separating the wine of its deposit. This operation puts wine in contact with oxygen. In some cases, decantation will be performed in order to exalt the aromas of a red that appears closed. Avoid resorting to this process with whites, rosés and fragile reds.


Each type of wine has its own optimal tasting temperature. The French term "Chambrer" is no longer used to indicate bringing to room temperature, because in modern apartments, the thermometer often displays 21 to 24 degrees in winter whereas in the past the temperature did not exceed 17-18 degrees in dining rooms.
White wines need to be cooled. Cooling does not mean " freezing ". At a temperature lower to 6 degrees, we are below level of perception. Cooling also means that temperature must be lowered progressively. The bottle is plunged into a bucket half full of water and a few ice cubes are added. In the glass, the wine quickly gains one or two supplementary degrees.


White Wines: dry wines, best enjoyed well-chilled (8ºC). More complex whites, with dry yet assertive character, will be appreciated between 10 and 12ºC. As for the rich, fatty and mellow whites, they can bear 13 or 14ºC in the glass.

Rose Wines: By definition young wines that are required to be fresh and fruity. For serving at the temperature of a good cellar, that is 9-10ºC. Red wines: Light wines, drunk early or very young at 9-10ºC.

Red Wines: Light wines, drunk early or very young at 9-10ºC. Reds having better structure bear one or two degrees more when they are drunk adolescent (3-14ºC). Great wines will be served at 15 or 16ºC while the richest in tannin will reach 16 to 18 degrees, superior boundary (18ºC) concerning the oldest wines.


Rules of the succession of meal courses
The succession of meal courses obeys certain rules:

- progression in flavors is essential;
- Do not start with a too spicy dish;
- Salty food precedes sweet food;
- Do not serve too much starchy food;
- Do not multiply sauce dishes;

Wines are served according to certain rules:

- from the youngest to the oldest;
- from the lightest to the most full-bodied;
- from the coolest to the most chambré;
- from the lowest to the highest in alcohol;
- from the driest to the most mellow;
- the whites before the reds;
- for the same wine, vary the vintage.

      The difficulty lies in harmonizing dishes between them, wines between them, wines and dishes.
It is difficult, sometimes impossible, to combine all these rules. A newly served wine must never make your guests regret the one they just drank.