Gone are the days where unbreakable rules governed wine drinking.
Of course, some age-old conventions are in place for a reason, but breaking rules can be a good thing if it enhances ones’ enjoyment of a wine.
Many are afraid making social faux pas when it comes to wine.
I recently served a tight and austere Champagne in a large glass to help it open and expand. Soon after I was pulled aside by a well-meaning relative, who whispered alarmingly,
“You have used the wrong glass! You should be using a flute!”
I reassured them that my choice of glass was deliberate and was done to benefit the wine.
If your decisions surrounding the serving of wine results in better tasting wine, then bucking convention should never be a problem.
Similarly with the refrigeration of red wine. I recently attended a dinner where the host was apologised for slightly chilling the pinot noir, reluctantly confessing that they preferred it this way. It was an excellent decision from my viewpoint, especially considering the extreme warmth of the day, but they were worried that they had done the wrong thing.
So don’t be afraid to experiment with wine.
Decanting is not the preserve of red wines. You can decant white wines and sparklings too.
Some red wines work beautifully with fish and conversely white wines with steak, as long as you choose the right wine.
You don’t necessarily need to change glasses between different wines, though rinsing the glass with a little of the new wine can be of benefit.
And Champagne and fino sherry, although perfect as aperitifs, can also work beautifully with food, so don’t shy away from serving them during a meal.