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Serving Wine

Serving Wine

Impress guests with your wine know-how, from proper glassware to serving techniques and more.


Did you know that there are nearly 40 different kinds of glasses depending on the grape variety and country of origin? All are designed to amplify the wine’s bouquet and flavour so that its subtleties can be fully appreciated.

Above all, glasses should be made of thin, clear, smooth glass without a roll rim. Avoid tinted glasses that change the wine’s colour and ornamentation that masks its clarity.

Glasses for white wine are smaller than those for red wine and Burgundy glasses are wider round the middle than claret glasses. Champagne is served in flutes.

Glasses must be clean, grease-free and scent-free. Wash them in hot water without any dishwashing liquid. For a clear shine, hold them over steam then dry them with a linen dish towel, holding glasses in both hands and not by the stem to avoid breakage.


Traditionally the host serves the wine. Glasses should be filled halfway to just above their widest point and never to the rim.

In what order should wines be served?

  • A white wine or rosé before a red wine
  • A dry wine before a mellow or sweet wine
  • A light wine before a robust or potent wine
  • A fruity wine before a one with a strong bouquet
  • A chilled wine before one at room temperature
  • A simple wine before a complex wine
  • A young wine before an aged wine
  • A red wine may be served before a white wine if the latter is more complex or more robust
Serving wine - Wine glass

How to avoid red wine stains

Some people can’t seem to pour wine without spotting the tablecloth. The solution to the problem is simple —— use a silver collar that fits round the bottle’s neck. To prevent unsightly rings on the tablecloth, use silver, pewter or cork bottle holders.

Holding the bottle

Young professionals prefer to hold the bottle by the bottom. However, you may hold it whichever way is most comfortable.


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