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How to serve wine: the perfect pour

It’s the little things that often make a big difference and there is much more to pouring a glass of wine than you might think. An elegant preparation of the bottle and a seamless, sophisticated pour will enhance your guests’ perception of the wine, even before they’ve tasted it! From opening the bottle, to filling up the glass to the optimal level, the perfect pour will help you set the highest tone for your hosting



First impressions count and the very first part of a good pour is the opening of the wine itself. Treat the bottle gently and use a foil clipper (if you have one) to get the cleanest line and help prevent drips. Removing the foil entirely is the next best option. Now, pull the cork slowly when the screw is almost entirely inside it and if your wine is sparkling, twist the bottle not the cork for the most elegant extraction. Wipe the opening with a clean cloth to remove any debris, then check the wine for taint before serving. Sniffing the cork won’t always tell you, so it’s best to pour a drop into a glass to make sure.


You are now ready to pour and here’s the part where you get to play ‘sommelier’: with your right hand, hold the bottle at the bottom with the label facing your guest. If you can place your thumb into the ‘punt’ at the base without dropping the bottle, then even better! Pour from about half an inch above the glass avoiding any bottle bash as much as you can. At the end of the pour, slowly twist the bottle; this will help prevent dripping.


There’s little a wine lover likes less than an over-filled glass. Eighty percent of what we perceive as flavour come from our noses, so it makes sense to only fill a glass to a third of its capacity, leaving space for the aromas to work their magic. This is one of the reasons that wine lovers like their glassware to be just right: super thin crystal that leaves lots of space for swirling. Invest in good quality glassware and you’re halfway to being the perfect host already.