Wineglass tips, and how to prepare your wine bottle for serving.

By Philip Arlidge

wine tips and tricks

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Tags: Wine. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris. Dessert wines. Riesling, Verdelho, Champagne, red or white sparkling wines. Wineglass tips, and how to prepare your wine bottle for serving.


Girls who wear glasses seldom get passes and are your eyes good or do you need new glasses because you need good glasses to enjoy good wines.

Some years ago The Reidel Glass Manufacturers in Austria began experimenting with various shapes of glasses, thicknesses of the glass and carrying out tastings with different wines and from these results, it was found that different types of wine performed better in different styles of glass.

But rather than go silly and buy a different set for every type of wine which would be very expensive you can pretty well use the same glass for sparkling wine, ports and sherries, and the same glass for white and red wines. Some traditionalists will now be shaking their heads but a fluted glass that holds about 150 ml used for sparkling wine is also a good size for port and you should only put 100 ml of wine in the glass anyway, never fill the glass to the top as spilling when swirling is a real waste, also this is the size of glass that Champagne Houses in France use and you will get about eight glasses from a bottle.

The reason for a fluted glass, as opposed to the elegant bowl shaped long-stemmed glass (reputed to be fashioned after Marie Antoinette’s breast), is the bubbles burst more intensely in a lesser sized opening making the aroma stronger which makes the drinking more pleasurable. It is the opposite for table wines when buying glasses, regardless of the size, should be made of fine glass with a wide mouth which allows all the aromas to fill the air and nowadays it is even fashionable not to have a stem.

I had some friends who imported fine glassware from Italy and have glasses that will hold 500 ml, 700 ml and the largest holds just over 1 litre, which is quite impressive but rather impracticable. Regardless of the size with both red and white wines only fill the glass with about 200 ml and the reason is when swirling the wine around to release the aroma a white shirt covered in your favourite claret isn’t a good look!

When wines were sealed with corks the wines often had cork taint which resembled the odour of damp cardboard. I remember once having a wine and the smell from the glass had this smell so I called the wine waiter over and he agreed with me and was about to change the bottle but when I smelled my partners glass the wine was perfect. It transpired the glasses had been stored in cardboard boxes and some of the glasses retained the smell of the cardboard, so it is always better to wash the glasses before serving good wine in them, even though now with screw tops there is no chance of cork taint.

wine tips and tricks

Regardless of age all red wines tend to appreciate being decanted as the air brings out the best of aroma and flavour, decanting means that after being opened the wine should be poured into a larger glass receptacle, there are some magnificent decanters out there but a clean glass jug will do as long as it is big enough, just opening the wine and leaving it for a couple of hours rarely achieves anything.

If the wine has an age to it there is a good chance that sediment will have formed in the bottle, so it is important to stand the wine upright still sealed for a couple of hours prior to opening, which will allow the sediment to settle on the bottom of the bottle, open the bottle and then very carefully pour the wine into the decanter retaining the sediment in the last drops of the wine, you don’t want to ruin a good drop with a mouthful of sediment. If there is staining on the neck or side of the bottle it is called a crust and is a sign the wine has developed well.

Older wines will deteriorate quickly once decanted, so decant just before serving. Also with an older wine, it is likely to have a cork which will need some care in removing, I have seen many fall apart, again bits of cork in the wine don’t look good so ensure you have a good waiters friend (corkscrew) and take your time. White wines regardless of age just need pouring, but it is important to ensure the correct temperatures, for serving a Chardonnay too cold for instance will mask the beautiful aroma of the wine.

Here are a few tips to ensure you enjoy the wine a little more.

These temperatures are in Centigrade 6–8 degrees Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Grigio) Ice Wine. These are fruity wines 7-8 degrees Dessert Wines ( serve with blue cheese for a marriage blessed in heaven) 8-10 degrees Riesling, Verdelho, Champagne, red or white sparkling wines ad anything fizzy 10-12 degrees Rose,Viognier 12-13 degrees Chardonnay, Semillon 14-16 degrees Burgundy (Pinot Noir), Merlot which tend to be lighter bodied reds 17-19 degrees Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Zinfandel or full bodied reds Recently I have been encouraging all of you to give Australian Rieslings and Chardonnays a go and have a change from Sauvignon Blanc, a change is as good as a rest they say, it must be working because of the efforts of Bribie Island sales of these two wines nationally are up!

Seriously though consider a Riesling from Leo Buring, Knappstein, Richard Hamilton, Jacobs Creek, Majella, Peter Lehman, Jim Barry, Heggies, Skillogalee, Kirrihill, Leasingham, Annies Lane in fact almost any Riesling from The Clare Valley, The Eden Valley or The Porongorups in Western Australia and you should get a very fine wine.

With Chardonnay Jamieson Run, Taylors, Wolf Blass, Coldstream Hills, Robert Oatley, Hollicks, Paringa Estate, Peter Lehman, Bowen Estate, Grant Burge, Trentham Estate, De Bortoli, Houghton, Vasse Felix and in Australia pretty well all wine growing areas produce good Chardonnay in fact, try a Bin 65 from Lindemans, this was a million case seller 10 years ago and sill retails around $10 or less, in fact it was advertised somewhere for $6.99 the other day, about $2 more than at it’s peak.


Wines are very good value for money!

Suggested wines this month

  • Red Wines
  • Pepperjack Shiraz
  • Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz
  • Saltrams 1859 Shiraz
  • Jamiesons Run Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon

White Wines

  • Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc
  • Secret Stone Sauvignon Blanc
  • Koonunga Hill Chardonnay
  • Lindemans Bin 65 Chardonnay
  • Jim Barry Riesling
  • Annies Lane Riesling

This is for my dear critic who finds Robert Mitchem a trifle too much. From Hitch-hikers’s Guide to the Galaxy The best drink in existence is the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster.

The effect of drinking a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around by a large brick. I think I have tried some cask wine which had the same effect!

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A highly successful sales and leadership career working in a number of different and very competitive industries. Engaging with decision makers at all levels in business and government. Three decades employed by corporations, SME businesses in senior roles and almost twelve years operating as a freelance contractor has equipped me well for all aspects of business. Whether leading and mentoring sales teams, or in a direct sales role I enjoy the challenge to meet and exceed expectations. Making a real and tangible difference in either a team environment or as an individual is an important personal goal I have consistently achieved throughout my career. In all of my business and personal dealings over the years there is one issue that stands out above all others - communication. Excellent communication skills creates trust, helps with mutually beneficial outcomes and above all cements long lasting positive relationships. I strive everyday to communicate effectively with the people I encounter.