Entertaining is a breeze when you learn the basics. Check out our handy Wine Guide for serving suggestions, toasts & more, then consult our Stress-free Dinner Party page for time-saving tips. And finally, Add Some Spice to your Life with flavorful cooking ideas.
Tips for Enjoying Wine | How to Make a Toast | Cooking with Wine
• Serve young wines before old (older wines are more robust).
• Serve white wines before red wines.
• Serve light-bodied wines before full-bodied ones.
• Serve dry wines before sweet, as a dry wine following a sweet one tends to taste sour.
• White table wines should be served at about 55°F/13°C, so count on storing it for approximately 2 hours in the fridge.
• Let fine red wines breathe for several hours before serving. The older the wine, the less time it needs to breathe; the younger, the more time it needs. Red wines should be served at cool room temperature (65° F/18°C), so if it’s warm in the room, simply put it in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
Much of the pleasure you get from a good glass of wine is in the aroma, so before you taste it, swirl the wine around your glass to reveal its bouquet, then breathe in its fragrance. (To ensure you've got enough room to get a good swirl, never fill your wine glasses more than half full!) Depending on the type of wine you are drinking, you may discover hints of familiar smells such as vanilla, citrus, apples, flowers, plums, wood, and even chocolate.
Once you are ready to taste, take a small sip, roll it around in your mouth to expose it to all your taste buds, and breathe in a little air to once again release the aroma as you are tasting. Notice the taste and the "texture”— is it light and refreshing, or full and robust? Remember, you don't have to be a "connoisseur" to enjoy wine…all you need to know is what you like!
Wines are best paired with foods that complement their flavor. For help, check out our handy wine pairing guide.