There are a few basic guidelines to remember when serving wine to guests in your home. These simple rules will ensure your guests can comfortably enjoy the wine you have chosen to share.
What and How Much to Pour:
Champagne or Sparkling Wine is a great way to start, you could also serve a light refreshing white. When it's time for dinner the bigger, more robust reds can be brought out. Decanting a red wine or letting it breathe for an hour before hand can allow the wine to oxidize and the flavours will be released. Generally a 4 to 5oz. pour is appropriate. (about half of a regular wine glass)
Basic Food/Wine Pairing Guide:
A few more helpful wine pairing hints:
Temperature matters! The temperature can dramatically alter the chemistry of a wine.
Sparkling Wine or Champagne - Very Cold (5 to10C)
White/Rose Wine - Cold (7 to14C) Let the wine chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
Red Wine - Cool (15 to20C) Lighter red wines like Pinot Noir or Gamay can be served just slightly chilled, while big, bold reds should be slightly warmer. Be careful during the hot summer months that reds are not served too hot, chill in the fridge for about 30 mins.
When pouring wine for your guests serve the ladies first starting with the most mature and moving clockwise. When refilling your own glass, ask the guests next to you if they would like a top up before you serve yourself. If there is wine open on the table guests will be able to help themselves. As a general rule most guests will have 3 to 4 glasses of wine during an evening, there are about 5 glasses in a 750ml bottle.
Most of all your guests will appreciate your hospitality. Stay calm, collected and enjoy the evening and your guests will too. If anything does go wrong, don't sweat it, laugh it off and carry on.