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Wine Service and Presentation


Wine Service | Detecting An "Off" Bottle of Wine | When To Pour It Out | Wine Consumption On Duty

Wine Service

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Opening a bottle of wine behind the tasting bar can add drama to a tasting. Since many eyes are on you during this performance, opening the wine smoothly and appropriately is the first step to the presentation of our wines.

Ten Steps to Opening Wine

  1. Always have the label of the bottle facing out towards the guest. The more they see the label the better.
  2. Cut the metal capsule covering the cork just below the lip and pull it off leaving a clean cut. The cut should be made in two movements so the bottle is moved as little as possible.
  3. Insert the worm of the corkscrew slightly off center and at a slight angle, straightening it as the corkscrew is turned.
  4. Insert the worm until only one turn is above the cork.
  5. Tilt the handle of the corkscrew until the curve-notched shorter leg rests on the lip of the bottle and hold it in place with the forefinger.
  6. Pull the corkscrew straight up, pushing down on the base of the index finger. Let the lever action of the corkscrew work for you. Do not bend the cork and keep fingers away from the actual mouth of the bottle.
  7. Release the lever and turn the corkscrew the final turn. Rock the cork gently while pulling so that the cork comes smoothly and quietly from the bottle. Do not pop the cork.
  8. Wrap an index finger around the cork (without touching the end that was in the bottle) and untwist the cork from the corkscrew.

Detecting an "Off" Bottle of Wine

Every time a new bottle of wine is opened to be poured for a guest you must smell and tasting the wine: one out of every ten bottles of wine on average are considered "off". Wines that go bad will produce off-aromas and flavors. While some of these undesirable aromas and flavors are a result of poor winemaking, occasionally winemakers will be confronted with problems that are beyond their control. A list of the most common off-aromas and their culprits are as follows:Every time a new bottle of wine is opened to be poured for a guest you must smell and tasting the wine: one out of every ten bottles of wine on average are considered "off". Wines that go bad will produce off-aromas and flavors. While some of these undesirable aromas and flavors are a result of poor winemaking, occasionally winemakers will be confronted with problems that are beyond their control. A list of the most common off-aromas and their culprits are as follows:

TCA or "Corkiness":
Molds that sometimes grow in the cork, coupled with trace levels of chlorine, can spoil a wine from even the most reputable winery.
Such wines are termed "corked" and produce a musty, moldy or dank odor and flavors.TCA or "Corkiness": Molds that sometimes grow in the cork, coupled with trace levels of chlorine, can spoil a wine from even the most reputable winery.
Such wines are termed "corked" and produce a musty, moldy or dank odor and flavors.

Oxidation:
Oxygen reacting with the delicate compounds in wine.
The odor is reminiscent of musty socks or swampy-like tide pools.
Reduction, the opposite of oxidation, is reminiscent of candied fruits.

Brettanomyces (brett):
A spoilage yeast that lives in wooden barrels and tanks.
Causes a variety of off-odors and flavors ranging from wet leather to garlic to metallic flavors.
Brett can sometimes be controlled with the use of SO2.
Once barrels are infected, it is nearly impossible to sanitize completely.
Molds that sometimes grow in the cork, coupled with trace levels of chlorine, can spoil a wine from even the most reputable winery.
Such wines are termed "corked" and produce a musty, moldy or dank odor and flavors.

When To Pour the Wine Out

If in doubt pour it out. We must insure all wines are tasting, smelling and showing to the best of their ability. All open bottles of white wine at the end of the day that are less than half-full will need to be either poured out or taken home with staff. All open bottles of red wine that are less than half-full shall remain until the following business day where all wines will be tasted and evaluated again.

Wine Consumption on Duty

As employees of a winery, we must taste our products. Each bottle of wine we open must be tasted to make sure the wine is not flawed. However, the "tasting" of new bottles of wine cannot turn into consumption. Staff members are not permitted to casually consume wines on duty. Any staff member caught drinking wine for recreational purposes will be written up the first time and fired on the spot if caught again.

For more information about training your staff about proper Wine Service and Presentation or how you can setup a tailored hospitably training session for your tasting room team please contact me at summerjeffus@yahoo.com

Information taken from www.winesandvines.com

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