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Is decanting useful or not ?
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Serving wine

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How to prepare a wine tasting ?

Your wines will taste better in the right order !

It is like composing a menu: your need to think in advance about the bottles you are going to serve. It is better to taste wines in a certain order to enjoy all their qualities to the full.

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Here are the basic rules :  

  • Choose no more than three types of wines to accompany a lunch or dinner, so that you can appreciate every nuance.
  • It is better to serve white wines before reds and red wines before sweet white wines, to avoid tiring your palate.
  • Always start with a young wine and end with an older one.
  • A dry or full-bodied wine should always follow a sweeter or lighter one.

The aim is to avoid wishing you were still drinking the previous wine…

The right temperature, please!

As a general rule, a wine should never be served above 20°C, or its delicate aromas are likely to be overwhelmed by alcohol.

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Ideal serving temperatures are as follows:

  • Great white wines (Bordeaux or Burgundy) : 14°C
  • Dry white wines : entre 8°C et 14°C
  • Great red wines (Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône) : entre 15°C et 18°C.
  • Rosés wines : entre 10°C et 12°C.
  • Older, more tannic reds should be served at slightly higher temperatures than light, young wines.

The wine's temperature usually increases quite rapidly in the glass, by about 2°C every 10 minutes.

Is decanting useful or not ?

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Decanting consists of separating a wine from any deposits likely to spoil the pleasure of tasting. Even if the wine is automatically aerated, this is not the main purpose, especially for most old wines, which may sometimes react badly.

Old red wines made from a blend of grape varieties (such as Bordeaux, Rhône, etc.) benefit from decanting, unlike old, single-varietal wines, which are usually more fragile – like Pinot Noir from Burgundy.

White wines do not derive any clear benefit from being decanted. Aeration as they are poured and swirled in the glass is quite sufficient.

The ideal wine glass

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Every wine-growing region has one or more traditional glasses, reasonably well-suited to wine tasting.

However, the ideal glass is, above all, transparent, to show the wine's true colour. It should have the following shape:

  • A sufficiently long stem to be held easily without warming the wine.
  • A relatively wide bowl, shaped like a tulip bud, to concentrate the aromas.

Wine glasses of this shape, perfectly suited to tasting, are available at the Château La Louvière shop .

   
   
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