You have spent your hard earned money of good wine, we salute you as life is too short for bad wine! To make the best of your purchase you now need to give a little thought and planning to making the best of it. this normally falls into three categories, get the temperature right, present it the right way and have the right glasses. There is a lot of hype about wine but we do not get too snobby about it.

The temperature, the chart below will help but as a rule of thumb try a white  in a domestic fridge for about an hour which should be about right. If it is Champagne or something fizzy try an extra half an hour should not be too far from right. If you make your whites too cold then then you will suppress the fruit flavours. For your big reds try and find a cool corner as our houses tend to be much warmer these days.

Style of Wine

Examples

Temperature

Sparkling Wines

Champagne, Prosecco

Well Chilled - 6-8℃

Dessert and Sweet Wines

Tokaji, Sauternes

Well Chilled - 6-8℃

Light / Medium Whites

Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Sancerre etc.

Chilled - around 8-10℃

Medium / Full White and Oaked

White Burgundy (Chablis), Fume Blanc etc

Lightly Chilled - around 10-12℃

Light Reds

Beaujolais

Lightly Chilled - around 10-12℃

Medium / Full Reds

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja, Amerone, Shiraz 

Room Temperature - 17-18℃

You can also use the ice bucket or similar to keep the cold wines chilled, an ice bucket should have about half ice and half water, this conducts the heat away from the wine.

Make sure that you prepare the wine before you want it, apart from the right temperature you need to consider decanting wines before being required. There is little point just opening a bottle and expecting that little air gap to make any difference, you will be sadly disappointed. If you have a decanter then well done, it is a stylish and nice way to serve your wine. If you don't decant into a clean measuring jug and poor back into the bottle, does the job nicely and people love to read the bottle. Also remember that a complex white like a Chablis will benefit from a little air, it has been cooped up for yours and the first glass will taste 'very tight' if you don't.

You need to consider how you are going to serve your wines, Champagnes and sparkling wines like saucers or flutes, whites in just a standard glass and reds like a big glass so you can swirl and appreciate it. If you do not have these style of glass then use what you have, a tall narrow glass will not ruin champagne, and if you do not have a big glass for your reds then put less in and come back more often!

And just a note on wine and food matching, we firmly belief that what you should drink is the wines that you like. If you like a big red with a delicate piece of fish or a crisp Chardonnay with a big piece of beef then go ahead and enjoy your choice. It is all about personal choice not following convention.