Buying and serving wine The Guide You Need Minus the JargonThe fact that good quality wine is no longer a rare and expensive commodity is quite frankly a wonderful thing. No longer are everyday wine fans limited to the bargain-basement lines on the supermarket shelves that have clearly been thrown together with nothing but profit margins in mind. Thanks largely to the growth of online wine retailers in the UK, access to quality wines has never been greater.

In view of this fact it’s worth giving a second thought to your current wine habits in order to establish whether you’re really making the most of such a time of plenty. This doesn’t in any way mean drinking to excess, but if you buy red wine or white wine of any kind wouldn’t you like to get the very best out of it?

We make every effort to help our customers and all wine lovers in general get more from their purchases. So whether you’re visiting our website to order wine for next day delivery as a gift for someone or perhaps to take advantage of our special offers here’s our quick guide for buying and serving wine with maximum enjoyment in mind:


Buying Wine 

These days we always advise people that buying wines online is very straightforward. One of the reasons being that not only can online wine delivery firms stock a much wider range than almost any store in operation in the UK today but lower running costs often mean lower prices. So whether you order a case once or twice a year or prefer to invest in case after case of the stuff, you’re almost always better off on the web.

As for which wines to choose, our advice is to go for a wide and varied mixture from all over the world in order to educate yourself about the various styles and flavours. That being said, we’re also of the mindset that once you find something that you like you should stick with it! If Rieslings get you all hot under the collar, there’s no point buying Cabernet Sauvignons you don’t like just because they’re highly rated…you get the point.


Serving Wine

In order to fully appreciate your favourite wines, it’s important to know a few tips and tricks on how to serve them. Swigging from the bottle or using any old glass you can find may work from a logistical point of view, but to get the most from your investment you need to dig a little deeper.


Wine Glasses

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wine glass. Reds, whites and sparkling wines are so different in both nature and intent that you must be willing to invest in the proper glassware for each. You don’t have to spend much but be sure to cover your needs well.

Red wine calls for a glass with much larger bowl, which allows for swirling of the wine and the release of its bouquet. You don’t have to go so far as the goldfish bowl-sized glasses you may have seen, but you certainly do need a larger glass than those designed for white wine.

White wine glasses are smaller in nature than red wine glasses, while champagne glasses are much narrower in order to concentrate the liquid’s bubble and deliver a concentrated shot of flavour directly onto the tongue.


Serving Temperatures

Red and white wines alike should never, ever be stored in the fridge long-term. You should only ever chill a white wine for a few hours at the very most before serving it as the longer any wine is kept in the fridge, the more the flavour is impacted.

As for ideal serving temperatures, admittedly you won’t be able to get things exact but here are the recommendations of sommeliers:

  • Champagne, Sparkling, and Dessert Wine: 8° - 10°C
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz: 17° - 18°C
  • Chardonnay, Chablis: 10° - 12°C 
  • Pinot Noir: 17°C
  • Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio: 8° - 10°C

It’s usually not practical or possible in most instances to use a thermometer, (although we can recommend this digital wine thermometer) so it’s better to follow some general rules of thumb. For example, red wine is best served at room temperature – that being the temperature of an average interior living space that’s neither overly hot nor chilly. White wines on the other hand should be served higher than the average temperature of a refrigerator, so chilling them for an hour at most prior to serving is usually perfectly adequate.


Wine Storage

Last but not least if you buy wine by the case then you’ll want to keep it in good condition. While sealed, keep the wine in a cool and dark place away from any sources of moisture and don’t disturb it unless absolutely necessary. Once opened, use a vacuum pump to remove as much air as possible from the bottle and keep it in a cool place to keep it fresh for two to three days as a maximum.