We have some tips for getting the best when serving your wine over the Christmas festivities and avoid the pitfalls many of us who get it wrong - like spoiling their Christmas white wine by drinking it too cold. Serving it at an icy temperature might seem like the best thing to do but today a Coravin Wine Specialist shares her advice on why it should be avoided!
The UK is suggested to drink an average of 21.3 litres of wine per person each year, with the average household set to buy five bottles of wine in the lead up to Christmas, amongst spirits, beer and port. Ahead of such a busy festive drinking season, wine lovers should arm themselves with the tools to make the most from their glass.
Below is a series of must-know tips from how long you should get your white wine out of the fridge before serving it, to why you should never aerate a bottle of a certain age because you could spoil it completely.
1. Don’t serve white wine ice cold
The worst thing you can do is serve a white wine too chilled. Take medium to full bodied white wines out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving so that they reveal their true fruit character.
2. Don’t aerate wines that are more than 10 years old
Aerating wines that are less than eight years old is fine. Do this by swirling your glass or using aerating gadgets to release the fruit aromas and make the wine come alive.
Wines older than 10 years old shouldn’t be aerated as they are already fully developed and exposure to oxygen can cause the delicate aromas to quickly fade.
3. Don’t be fooled into thinking grape colour = wine colour
It’s the kind of fact which would set the alarms off on TV’s QI. Wine colour isn’t to do with the colour of the grapes - it’s all about the skin.
Red wines are made by fermenting the grape juice with the skins. White wines are made by fermenting the grape juice without the skins.
If you ferment green grapes on their skin, you can get an orange wine. If you ferment red grapes without their skins, you get a white wine called a “Blanc de Noir”.
4. Don’t ignore the UK wine market
Turning your nose up on homegrown grapes could see you missing out on a brilliant bargain this Christmas. The UK wine market might be young, but look out for white wine from the Bacchus vine or sparkling wines based on Champagne varieties.
Additionally, the bottling market is booming. In 2016, 600 million bottles of wine were bottled in the UK.
5. Expand your wine horizons
Are you a fan of Chardonnay? You might also like Chenin Blanc or Viognier. Or perhaps you enjoy a Cabernet Sauvignon? If so, try Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, or wine from Rioja in Spain. Don’t be afraid to try something new this season!