There are some techniques that will help you to serve wine.
When opening a bottle of still wine remove the top of the (plastic or metal) capsule with a knife or corkscrew. The type of corkscrew you use is completely up to you, but try to use one smooth slow motion when drawing out the cork. This will stop corks, especially old and dry ones, from crumbling. If a cork does crumble, don’t worry too much as the wine still can be saved with some careful decanting. Once the cork has been removed give the inside of the neck a quick clean and pour.
Care should be taken when opening sparkling wine as there is a considerable amount of pressure inside the bottle (about five atmospheres). Chilling the wine will reduce the pressure, otherwise the cork will burst out with a lot more force.
Remove the foil and the wire muzzle, then be sure to grip the cork as your hand is now the only thing holding it in place. Tilt the bottle to an angle of about 45° degrees, and while still holding the cork firm, take the base of the bottle with your other hand and turn the bottle, not the cork. While twisting the pressure will start to force the cork out, but the aim is to resist the pressure and softly ease the cork out.
Different styles of wine should be enjoyed at specific temperatures. General wisdom has it that white wine should be served chilled and red at room temperature, but this is a little too general. Think of drinking a nice bottle of red in an Australian summer when temperatures reach over 40°. See a guide to wine styles and optimum drinking temperatures here:
|Light bodied sweet dessert wines||Sauternes||6–10°C|
|White sparkling wines||Champagne||6–10°C|
|Aromatic, light bodied white||Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc||8–12°C|
|Red sparkling wines||Sparkling Shiraz, Lambrusco||10–12°C|
|Medium bodied whites||Chablis, Semillon||10–12°C|
|Full bodied dessert wines||Oloroso Sherry, Madeira||8–12°C|
|Light bodied red wines||Beaujolais, Provence rosé||10–12°C|
|Full bodied white wines||Oaked Chardonnay, Rhone whites||12–16°C|
|Medium bodied red wines||Grand Cru Burgundy, Sangiovese||14–17°C|
|Full bodied red wines||Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo||Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo