Hosting an Evening in with a Bottle of Wine

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Article from the 2016-09-20, by Sophie Wrede

Wine gifts for wine loversLeaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, squirrels and hedgehogs across the country are readying themselves for the world's greatest nap - and best of all, grapes have been pressed, fermented and filtered ready for a cosy night in with good company. Grab a glass and a blanket, we're going to prepare the perfect evening of sophistication. For optimal wine enjoyment there are a few tricks you should know: How to pour wine properly, which glasses to use, and which products to use to successfully aerate and decant your wine. Settle in and read on...

How to Pour Wine

Figuring out how to pour wine properly is not just a matter of practicality, it's a matter of style. Open your wine bottle with a butterfly corkscrew such as the cute and smiley Anna G by A di Alessi or with a 'basic' corkscrew such as the classic and classy Manual Corkscrew by Eva Solo. When pouring, leave the wine glass on the table and put one hand at the bottom of the bottle, with your thumb inside the dimple. With your other hand, gently support the neck of the bottle with your index and middle finger so that you can pour nice and steadily. Don't let the bottle touch the wine glass. Once you've finished pouring, give the bottle a little twist as you lift it away - this is to prevent drips.

In general, white wine glasses are smaller than glasses for red wine. White wine glasses should only be filled halfway. If you only have the larger red wine glasses available but you're drinking white, then fill the glass about a third of the way. Hold the glass at the stem, or if there is no stem then hold it in the lower third. That way you'll look the part and also hear a hearty clink when you're toasting - cheers!

Royal VKB - French Decanter Set Vagnbys - Wine Decantiere / Decanting Pourer Katalogfreisteller: Menu - Wasser / Wein Karaffe

Which Glass Should I Use?

Before settling in with your wine, you should take a moment to decide which type of glass is bested suited for maximum enjoyment. The size and shape of a wine glass affects your experience when drinking it: it influences the texture and more importantly the aroma and delicate nuances of flavour. You wouldn't drink champagne out of a coffee mug, after all! (Or perhaps you would, but it wouldn't taste as pleasant as from a champagne flute, which have been specially designed in shape and form to complement and enhance the drink).
We recommend the Essence Collection from Iittala as a superb example of clever design for a true taste of sophistication.

The chalice of a white wine glass is generally smaller and less bulbous than that of a red, as it is not as necessary to aerate white wine. The smaller glass also means that the glass is emptied more quickly and thus has to be refilled more often - ideal to ensure that the cold drink does not lose its crisp freshness. Red wine, on the other hand, is fine to sit in the glass for a longer time, as it is usually served at a warmer temperature. Red wine glasses have a larger belly and a wide opening. The deep chamber of the glass increases the surface area of the wine as it is poured in, which in turn increases the wine's contact with the air. This helps to release the aromas of red wines.

Particularly for red wine lovers: the Air Sense Wine Glasses from Zwiesel 1872 feature a unique glass sphere seated gently above the stem. This decanting sphere allows the wine to breathe and beautifully unfolds subtle aromas. This eye-catching bubble also loks the part, meaning that these glasses lend an air of refinement to any table.

Red wine glass with decantation sphere made of glass Essence Drinking Glasses Air Sense Glasses by Zwiesel 1872

Decanting Wine to Enhance Flavour and Aroma

Traditionally, only red wine is decanted, but recent research shows that white wine may actually benefit from aeration as well - although perhaps not as noticeably as red. Either way, decanting your wine into an appropriate vessel is a great way to make your drink both look and taste better.

There are two good reasons to decant wine. The first is to separate out any sediment that has gathered in the bottom of the bottle, and the second is to aerate the wine and improve its quality.
When decanting wine, choose a nice wide-bottomed caraffe, such as the French Decanter Carafe from Royal VKB. The wider the belly of the caraffe, the more air can get to the wine and the more flavours will be released upon drinking. Aeration takes a little time, so you should decant your wine a few hours before drinking, or with some wines even up to 24 hours in advance. It may not be strictly necessary, but it is definitely worth it to help release aroma.

If you have a spontaneous guest and there's no time to decant your wine in advance, the Blade Aerating Pourer from Menu is the perfect solution. Simply attach the pourer and pour your wine directly from the bottle into your glass, letting the aerator do its work in flowing air all through the liquid to bring out its nuances.

Magisso - Carafe, black Menu New Norm Wine Breather + New Norm Cool Breather Vagnbys - Wine Decantiere / Decanting Pourer

Wine Racks and Stoppers: Storing Wine once it's been Opened

Once wine has been opened, it usually has to be drunk within a couple of days so that it doesn't lose its aroma and flavour from too much contact with oxygen in the air. If you want to keep your wine a little longer, you can use an airtight stopper. For this there are classics like the natural corks from Normann Copenhagen, or slightly more technical designs such as the Vignon Vacuum Stopper from Menu, which pumps the air from the bottle and allows wine to be stored for up to six days.

Whether you have a full wine cellar or a dedicated corner of the kitchen or dining room, the best way to store your wine collection is in a wine rack. The BOA from Koziol is a great example of a wine rack with a minimalist design, taking the linear yet rounded form of a snake. And if you're looking for something really eye-catching, the Lasso bottle holder by Peleg Design creates a perfect optical illusion in your home.

Bottle Rack Boa from Koziol Monkey Business - Lasso Bottle Holder Goods - Grape wine rack - hanging, with bottles

So you've picked out your wine glasses, perfected the technique for opening and pouring wine and decanted your favourite bottle to enhance its flavour. The wine stopper is ready for the unlikely event that there's some wine left at the end of the evening, so now all that's left to do is grab some friends or settle in for a romantic evening, and enjoy! Cheers!

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