Ways To Wow Guests With A Simple Bottle Of Wine

Planning a party or get-together? Serve wine!

Some ways to wow your guests when serving wine are:

Aerate. Show off your skills with wine by properly aerating a bottle when you open it in front of guests. Aerating wine helps provide oxygen and brings wine to its peak flavor, but don't aerate too long or you will miss the finest moments of your bottle. For instance, older red wines may not require any aeration after opening, but reds under eight years of age should be opened and aerated for an hour or two.

Decant. Transferring wine from the bottle to a decanter does more than simply make it look fancy; in fact, new wines that need lengthy aeration should be decanted to expedite the oxygenation process. Also, in older bottles of wine, decanting removes the debris and tannins that settle on the bottom of the bottle.

Accessorize. It may sound kitschy, but investing in some wine glass jewelry to identify one glass from another is not a bad idea. Plus, it can make a table or party a bit more flashy! Consider giving your guests their wine charm to take home at wine tastings or parties as a memento of the affair.

Add-ins. Set up a simple and small self-serve station for guests to 'doctor-up' their glass of wine. For instance, if you plan on serving sparkling wine (or water!), arrange pretty bowls of fresh-fruit purees for guests to make their own Bellini; or provide platters of berries and fruits to add to glasses of white wine or champagne for a special touch and a little Vitamin C.

Other wine-serving suggestions include:

  • Make the event an impromptu tasting by opening up those bottles that guests bring. Give everyone a sample and ask for feedback.
  • Ask guests to bring their favorite varietal from a particular region, California for example, and hold a blind tasting at your party.
  • Make the event a pairing-party where you serve something new and different at each course or round of appetizers. For instance, with a cheese plate or fondue, serve a crisp Chardonnay; with decadent desserts, offer up a short glass of sweet port.

Make any get-together something special with your favorite wines and by wowing your guests with your serving skills! Talk with wine vendors and liquor retailers about the best wines for your buying budget, as well as to ask for recommendations that pair with your party menu.