How to Pour Wine Without Spilling
Wine is fun, but it’s also famous for its hard-to-remove stains, mainly when dealing with inky red wine. Unlike other drinks, pouring wine is an art form, and doing it right can make the wine look, smell, and taste better. Learn how to pour wine in a way that makes it more expressive—and without causing an unfortunate spill.
The question is: How do you pour wine correctly? Well, it depends. After all, there are different scenarios and distinct wine styles. However, we’ll cover the basic steps behind professional wine service. These rules will help you in any situation.
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How to Pour Wine Properly
Pouring wine is all about safety and presentation. Some wine bottles are rare and expensive and deserve to be served with a certain flair. You should also serve inexpensive wine following a particular protocol in a formal setting. Needless to say, casual scenarios mustn’t be all that formal.
Who Do You Pour for First?
It all starts at the table, provided that you have opened the bottle already. Generally speaking, your table guests should have their respective wine glasses to their right, just above the knife. Serve the wine from over the guest’s right shoulder going clockwise, starting with the guest of honor, followed by the women, the men, and yourself.
How Much Do You Pour?
When you order wine by the glass at a restaurant, you should expect a five-ounce pour per glass. That’s a standard pour, which equates to five glasses per bottle. However, when entertaining at home, you can pour half that amount and refill as necessary.
How Do You Pour Wine?
When pouring wine, hold the bottle from its body, not the base or the neck. Hold the bottle as if shaking hands. Holding the bottle from the base can cause an accident, especially if someone bumps into you from behind (which is common in busy restaurants.) Ensure the label faces the guest so they can easily see what’s being poured.
Pouring Different Types of Wine
Pour white, rosé, and red wine in a single pour. Roughly, a five-second pour equals a five-ounce pour, but you’ll need to practice getting it right.
Pouring sparkling wine is a bit trickier, as it’s prone to overflow. In this case, two consecutive pours should do the trick. Slow and steady wins the race, so don’t rush.
Age-worthy red wine and some oak-aged white wines benefit from decanting before pouring. Decanting is a way to separate the wine from its mineral deposits and aerate it. When entertaining with wine, a carafe or decanter will come in handy.
When pouring wine from one of these vessels, ensure that you have a serviette on the other hand. Use it to prevent drops from staining the tablecloth. Pouring wine from a decanter takes skill, especially when you’re trying to pour the last couple of ounces. But like most skills, you’ll master it with time and practice.
Tips for Pouring Wine
Service standards vary depending on the setting and occasion. You don’t pour wine in the same way at pool parties as for formal dinners. What matters most is that you’re consistent and serve the wine the same way to everyone.
- Don’t over-pour. Refill when necessary, especially if entertaining guests at home. Under-pouring is equally disappointing for your guests, so remain vigilant about refilling glasses.
- When grabbing a wine bottle, place your thumb on the right edge of the label, ensuring the label always faces the guest (when served from the right.)
- Always leave a few ounces in the bottle, even after serving wine to a large crowd. You never know when someone is running late and will join the party after the wine has been poured. It’s always better to be prepared than to serve that extra glass.
Accessories to Help You Serve Wine Efficiently
Although wine service is all about practice, the right tools and gadgets will make your life easier.
Decanters and carafes. Ensure that you have decanters and carafes on hand, not only because they’ll help you make “closed” wines more expressive but because they add flair to the experience.
Serviettes. You’ll need at least three serviettes when serving wine, as you want to wipe the bottle’s mouth after removing the capsule and once again after removing the cork. Serviettes also prevent spilling while pouring.
Bouchons and stoppers. There are various bottle stoppers and bouchons available for bottles and decanters. They keep the wine fresh and the experience spill-free, so keep a couple around. You’ll thank us later.