Serve & Taste

Before serving wine

The wine temperature should be set correctly to enhance the flavour. It is crucial that proper service conditions are met, in order to enhance the wine experience.

White wines should be served between 10 - 12°C depending on whether the style of wine, with medium white being served nearer 12°C and lighter white wines served at 10°C.

Red wines should be be served between 12 - 18°C depending on whether the style of wine, with medium red being served nearer 18°C and lighter red wines served at 12°C  

Sweet wines and Sparkling Wines should be chilled between 6 - 8°C.

It is important to choose the correct wine glass to emphasise the importance of the wine attributes, to hold the wine balance and capture the aromas. All glasses should be examined around the rim for stains.


How to Serve Wine

The “host” is a term which refers to the person who is ordering the wine, present the selected wine to the host by holding the dented bottom of the wine and place the neck on your forearm, ensuring that the labelling is facing the host. Ensure that you are situated next to host and pronounce the name of the wine.

It is crucial that all foil from the bottle is removed when opening the wine to ensure the foil does not come in contact with the wine when poured. Once the wine is open offer the host the cork. Occasionally the host will request the cork to check if that the cork is not damaged, if they refuse to take the cork, place it on the table. Pour one ounce of wine into the host glass and allow the host to smell the aroma and taste the wine. If the host is content, continue to poor the wine, by holding the bottom of the wine and using the neck to poor the wine, wipe the bottle with a napkin to prevent the wine dripping. If there is wine left in the bottle, place on the table, facing outwards towards the restaurant. If the host has chosen white wine, place the wine in a wine chillier with a napkin around the bottle.

Tasting Wine

Wine tasting is essential to distinguish between a fine quality wine and an average wine. Wine is generally tasted and assessed in the following order:

  1. Appearance
  2. Nose
  3. Palate



The first step in the wine tasting process is to access the wine colour and appearance. The wine colour in the glass can help you interpret the wine before you begin to taste the win and can also present faults with the wine before tasting. When assessing the appearance of the wine, follow the following instructions:

Obtain a clear wine glass, any glass with patterns will change the wine colour.
The background view is vital, a sheet of white paper should be placed on table.
Pour the wine into the glass and tilt it over the white paper, to observe the wine colour.
Sufficient lighting is key, as darker lighter can portray the appearance of the wine for example making the appearance of the wine darker.


The next step is to smell the wine. Swirl the wine to enhance the flavour. Sniff the wine with your nose, and identity the aromas for example you may identity that the wine is fruity. In this step you can also identify faults with the wine and may identify that the wine is impacted by cork taint by smelling an unpleasant damp smell.
If you are persuaded by the aroma, the next step is to take a small sip of wine.


Swirl the wine in your mouth and breathe in air to let the wine evaporate in your mouth. At this stage you will be able to recognise the following factors:

Is the wine sweet / dry?
Is the wine full bodied or light?
Is the wine bitter / lively?
What does the wine feel, for example is it silky or chunky?

You will be able to idenfity if the wine has high levels of acidity (this is where the mouth waters as a result of the wine). Or you may be able to identify if the wine has high levels of Tannins ( this can be identifies as the bitter flavours at the back of the tongue). Once you have swallowed the wine you will need to indentify what flavour the wine gives you.