Wine that needs to be stored must be kept in horizontal position and must not be exposed to vibration. It must be left to develop under a temperature between 5 and 12 degrees Celsius and with approximately 80% humidity. Note that the majority of wines do not need store and can be kept in any place where they are protected from heat and strong sunlight.
Serving temperatures vary according to each different type of wine. White wine, for instance, must be served cold- between 5 and 13 degrees Celsius, -while red wine must be served at ambient temperature- between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius. Lighter red wines can be served slightly refrigerated- at a temperature between 14 and 16ºC. In general, the lighter the wine the cooler it must be served. Full-bodied and sparkling white wines, for instance, must be served very cold. Chenin Blancs, Sauvignon Blancs, Loire Wines, Rieslings and some Chardonnays must be served at 7 degrees Celsius, since if served colder their bouquet and flavor may be minimized. Full bodied and high quality white wines (including Sauternes and rich white Burgundies) must be served at 10 degrees Celsius. Red wines (including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bordeaux, Zinfandel, Rhones and Syrah/Shiraz) are served at 15 degrees Celsius.
The best wine glasses and containers are those made of plain and thin crystal. When pouring wine, it is important to fill only half of the glass in order to leave a space between the liquid and the rim of the cup. This space allows its bouquet to be fully appreciated.
It is necessary to decant wine only when it has too much sediment in its bottom, which is usually the case of mature port wine. Wine may also be decanted in order to be oxygenated. Some people allow wine to breathe by opening the bottle for a short time before drinking from it. If wines are young, it is not necessary to let them breath. Wines that have been aged for one or two years, on the contrary, must be left to breath, since they have been closed for 48 months. On the other hand, high-quality wines that have been aged for 15 to 20 years are not normally allowed to breathe because its bouquet vanishes very quickly.
Since the quality of wine is also depicted in its bouquet, it is very important to smell wine before tasting it. Wine must not be gulped, but drank slowly in order to perceive all its qualities. Wine is usually tasted with cheese or with apple. However, it is important to be aware that cheese hides its defects, while apple emphasizes them.
There are three types of aromas: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary bouquet is that provided by the grape from which a wine is produced. For example, fruity aroma is provided by Vitis vinifera, while herbaceous smell is the result of the weed that grows in the vineyard. Secondary aromas result from storage. Those wines stored in wooden containers, for instance, develop a vanilla fragance, while those stored in metal containers have a slightly metal scent. Tertiary aromas are particular of red wines that have been left to mature for a long time. During the aging process, wines lose their primary and secondary aromas, and they preserve the aroma of pure wine. Such is the case of French Grand Cru Classes from Medoc, old Rivera del Duero wines, Spanish Vega Sicilia and Italian Brunello di Montalcino.
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