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Rule one: Enjoy the wine
BY JOHN VAUGHN
FOR SOUTHWEST LIVING
Too many rules can spoil an occasion. But a few guidelines can help in one's initiation to fine wines.
Here are a few dos and don'ts intended to make your wine-drinking experience more enjoyable.
• Hold a wine glass by the stem. If you hold the glass by the bowl, the temperature of your hand will warm a chilled white wine. Holding the glass by the stem also allows you to see the color and clarity of a red wine and leaves the bowl free of fingerprints.
• If you're invited to someone's home for dinner, it's appropriate to bring a bottle of wine, assuming your host drinks wine. But don't assume the wine you bring will be served for the meal, since another wine may already have been picked out for the occasion.
• When pouring wine for a guest, leave one-third to one-half of the glass empty. A glass filled to the rim may be difficult to drink without spilling.
• As you finish pouring wine, twist the bottle to prevent dripping.
• Sparkling wines should be poured gently so the bubbles are preserved. Other wines should be poured into the center of the glass so the aroma floats upward.
• Once a bottle is opened, give the wine time to breathe. For red wine, the cork should be removed one hour before drinking. For white wine, serve soon after the cork is removed.
• Don't serve red wines too warm.
“‘Room temperature' is usually set forth as the proper serving temperature for reds, but here in Yuma — certainly in the warmer months — it's not unusual for room temperature to be pushing 80 degrees,” says Mike Shelhamer, owner of the Old Town Wine Cellar in downtown Yuma. “That's just too warm for a good red, and will detract from the enjoyment of the wine.
“I advise people to just put the wine in the fridge for maybe 20 to 25 minutes to bring its temperature back down below at least 70 before they serve it.”
• Serve red wine in a glass with a large bowl, white wine in a glass with a narrower bowl.
• Don't get so carried away with wine etiquette that you fail to enjoy the wine.