Tips for Serving Wine at Home During Lockdown

Lucy Goulding, Wine-related Gifts.

We are all at home now and even when the lockdown starts to ease it looks as if our restaurants and bars will be slow to open.  So enjoying a glass of wine at home is set to become the new normal for a while.   There may not be a sommelier or bartender to advise us but this could be a great opportunity to try some new wines, and new grapes and to brush up on wine knowledge.

In January I completed stage 2 of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Award.  I definitely learnt a lot and I don’t know what it says about me but I passed with distinction.  I thought I would share some tips on how to serve wine perfectly at home.

  • Choosing Your Glass

Make every glass of wine feel special by picking the right glass.  Generally a bigger glass for red wines than whites.  The key is that the glass narrows at the rim allowing the aroma of the wine to be concentrated.

  • The Right Temperature

Serving a wine at the right temperature can make a real difference in how much you can enjoy and appreciate it.  In the past, I have certainly been guilty of drinking white wines far too cold which totally kills the complexity of the flavour.  This chart gives a great guide but obviously, it is a matter of personal taste.

Style of Wine Example of Style Recommended Serving Temperature
Sweet Wines Sauternes Well Chilled 6 – 8ºC (43-46ºF)
Sparkling wines Champagne, Prosecco Well Chilled 6 – 10ºC (43-50ºF)
Light, medium-bodied, white and rosé Pinot Grigio Chilled 7 – 10ºC (45-50ºF)
Full-bodied white Oaked Chardonnay  Light chilled 10 – 13ºC (50-55ºF)
Light-bodied red Beaujolais, lighter Pinot Noirs Room temperature or lightly chilled 13 – 18ºC (55-64ºF)
Medium, full-bodied red Shiraz Room temperature 15-18ºC (59-64ºF)

A bit of planning in advance can make all the difference in how your wine tastes.  Don’t be tempted to heat a wine by putting or the radiator or near the fire.  This can damage the flavour as well.  Instead, place your bottle in the room where it will be served and allow the temperature to rise naturally. 

  • Keeping Your Wine Fresh

Once you have opened your wine it starts to react with the air.  Initially, this ‘breathing’ is a good thing allowing the flavours to intensify but over time the wine begins to go stale.   However, there’s no need to feel you need to finish your wine in one sitting.  I’ve discovered a great Australian product that works to keep your wine fresh for weeks or even months.  Winesave Pro uses argon gas (which is heavier than oxygen) to form a blanket over your wine.  Argon is an inert gas so it will not affect the wine at all.   

  • Don’t Drink More Drink Better

According to Alcohol Change UK, one in five drinkers has been doing so more frequently since the lockdown started.  My motto has always been quality as supposed to quantity.   Take the opportunity to increase your price range, compare vintages, and develop your palate.  I recommend tuning into one of the live wine tutorials on Instagram.  Try @amelias_wine or @joefattorini

About the Author

Lucy Goulding, the Director of Top Note Design, sells a range of original gifts for wine lovers.  She previously worked for Diageo, the world’s largest alcoholic drinks producer.

This post was contributed by Lucy Goulding, Wine-related Gifts and member of the Hammersmith group.