Always use a glass - nothing else works as well!

The better the wine, the less ceremony required!

Discussions with Bill Williamson

Wine is a completely unique thing - it changes over the time you have stored it and will change when serving based on temperature and the glass you choose.

Serving Temperature

The temperature at which a wine is served ranges in importance from vital to critical.

Serving red wines at "room temperature" refers to rooms in chateau and castles from past centuries. Modern, centrally heated, insulated houses have room temperatures around 72°F while no wine should ever be served above 65°F.


If a guest wants to drink your Merlot warm they can cradle the glass in their hands for a few minutes and the wine will warm up. Incidentally the decanter will be coming up to "room temperature" right there on the table.

These are our recommendations for serving temperatures using our wines as a guide.

  • 60°F- 65°F
    • Red Bordeaux ~ Amour, Sultry, Tango, Allure, Entice, Ravish, Clarissa, Seduce, Inspire, Stagecoach
    • Red Rhône ~ Heritage, Elate, Enchant, Harmony
    • Red Burgundy ~ Passion, Rapture
  • 55°F- 60°F
    • Chardonnay ~ Amourette, Chantilly
    • This is the ideal temperature to store all wines.
  • 50°F- 55°F
    • Viognier & Roussanne ~ Frolic, Relish
    • Light Whites ~ Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Gewürztraminer ~ Joy, Frisky, Gertie
    • Rosé ~ Adore, Desire, Frivolous & Tickled Pink
  • 45°F- 50°F
    • Champagne ~ Fizz
    • Sparkling Wine ~ Bubbles, Bliss
  • 35°F- 40°F
    • This is your home refrigerator temperature, never serve wine at this temperature.

Presenting, Opening and Testing Wine

You generally want guests to know what they're about to drink so present the bottle, with the label and vintage clearly showing, then quietly remove the cork using a hollow-screw corkscrew with a lever action that provides a straight pull on the cork in the same plane as the bottle neck.

If you have previously decanted and tasted the wine, then return the cork to the bottle upside down taking great care not to touch the wine soaked part of the cork. Only insert the cork partially so guests can see the end that was in contact with the wine. Then show the bottle, label and cork to each.

Always taste the wine yourself to see if you detect any flaws.

Pouring Wine

Sparkling (champagne) wines should be poured against the side of the flute (glass), like a beer, but with much less turbulence. Incline the flute wall to about 45° and progressively fill the flute inevitably recovering the axis to its vertical 90° position, lessening foam generation, so that the bubbles and foam are kept to a minimum.

Pouring Champagne

Why? Because the bubbles are formed during the release of carbon dioxide gas dissolved in the wine which helps transfer the taste, aroma, and mouth-feel of champagne, so you want them to explode their flavor in your mouth, not in the glass.

Still wines should be poured towards the center of the glass. Still wine glasses should be level and horizontal, ideally on the table. Pour the wine vertically from the bottle or decanter into the center of the appropriate glass (stemware) to hit the bottom of the glass which may cause bubbles but they will subside as the amount in the glass increases.

Serving - how to pour

Pour the wine for each guest, serving clockwise around the table, standing over the right shoulder of each person as you pour. Never fill their glass more than half full and we recommend less than one third full. They need room to swirl the wine and release its aromas and, if someone does not want to drink this wine, they have wasted less. Never touch the rim of the glass with the bottle or decanter while serving.

Pour slowly so the wine does not splash up, into the glass, on the table or on your guest. Turn the bottle after each pour to prevent drips. Have a burgundy-colored napkin in your hand to wipe any wine running down the outside of the bottle between pours. Do not attempt to swirl the wine for your guests which may release aromas too early for them and they may miss the best of the bouquet.