Transfer the wine from its bottle to a decanter or carafe before drinking. Wine often develops a solid deposit or sediment at the bottom of the bottle during storing / aging. Decanting separates the sediment from the wine and allows the wine to breathe, as the greater surface diameter allows more oxygen reach the wine than a narrow bottle does.
Red wines should be decanted well before serving and allowed to rest at room temperature for up to one hour to allow the wine to fully develop.
Rather than filling to the top, wine should be poured to the widest diameter of its bowl. This ensures maximum development of the bouquet, and provides an elegant table setting.
Carefully swirl the glass at least once to allow oxygen into the wine by increasing its surface area, which releases the wine’s rich, mature aroma. Smell the wine right after swirling for full appreciation of the bouquet.
Holding the Glass
A wine glass should always be held by the stem rather than the bowl, since heat from the hand can raise the temperature above optimum and spoil the wine’s bouquet. This is especially important for chilled white or sparkling wine.