How to Serve Wine Properly - Tips for serving wine like a professional

How to serve wine?


The joining of food and wine is an age-old tradition, that has created some of the most memorable culinary experiences. The requirement for excellent service of these wines with a meal is ever-growing, so knowing how to serve wine properly is a crucial skill.

Fortunately, we have broken it down in a simple to understand way, covering all the steps to excellent wine service. 


How to Serve Wine Properly?

Serving wine properly includes the presenting and pouring of the wine.


Serving wine professionally is a crucial skill in knowing how to serve wine in a restaurant and how to present a wine bottle as a waiter. 


The first step in serving the wine is the presentation of the wine. When bringing the bottle to the individual who ordered the wine, it is vital to frame the label with your hands and mention the specific variety, where it is from and the wine’s vintage

Once the customer is happy, ensure they have the correct wine glass for their wines and initiate the opening process. 


1.Slowly remove the foil top, cutting in neatly below the lip.

2.Insert the corkscrew (where applicable) and slowly remove the cork from the bottle.

3.Most wine connoisseurs will ask to smell the cork, so hand it to them to do so, while you wipe the bottle for any wine droplets. 

4.Pour the guest a small sample to check the quality of the wine.

5.Once the client is happy, you can now start pouring for all the guests.


These are the critical steps with knowing how to serve red wine, as most red wines have cork-closures. But with any white wine that has a cork, these steps can also be followed, with a slightly different pouring system with white wine. 


How to Pour Wine Professionally?

Pouring wine professionally includes the direction, amount and motion of the pour.


When you are ready to pour the wine for those seated around the table, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly, serving wine at the perfect temperature would mean avoiding touching the actual bottle – which can often warm up because of the temperature of your hands. So, hold the bottle at the neck and the base while pouring. 


Secondly, it is essential to know how to serve wine while constantly showing the label to the clients. While opening and pouring the wine, always ensure the label is facing the individual you’re pouring for. 


While pouring, it is vital to move in a clockwise-direction, serving the women first. This often means you have to circle the table twice to serve the men. The last person who should be served, however, is the individual who ordered the bottle – regardless of whether it was a man or woman. 


How to Pour Wine Without Spilling? 

Knowing how to pour wine without spilling includes a specific bottle motion.


Knowing how to serve wine in a restaurant without spilling is crucial – as it shows your professionalism and ability to do the job well.


This includes only pouring smaller amounts in the glass. The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t pour the glass above the halfway mark. Do not overfill the glass, as it not only prevents the wine from aerating slowly in the glass but can often mean that not all the guests get the same amount. With white wines, too much in a glass allows the wine to warm up quickly and ruin the experience of the wine for the guests. 


But avoiding spillage whilst pouring largely depends on a specific motion after each pour. After every pour, into the centre of the glass, twist the bottle as you lift the bottle, as it often prevents any droplets from falling. This, combined with a quick wipe of the bottle with a napkin, ensures no wine will run down the side of the bottle. 


How to Serve Wine During Covid 

Serving wine during Covid requires specific procedures.


One of the most critical steps to take to serve wine during covid is to ask the guests whether you can pour the wine for them, or whether they would prefer to pour it themselves due to the virus. 


If they prefer to serve the wines themselves, you can still open the bottle and leave it with the individual who ordered the bottle.


If they don’t mind you serving it, ensure that you have sanitized your hands, keep your face mask on and avoid standing too close to the diners. This might seem challenging since their glasses are situated right next to them, but it is essential to maintain as much distance as possible. Once you are done, take special precautions by possibly wiping down the bottle with an alcohol-based sanitizer. 


How to Serve White Wine?

Serve white wine with a napkin and ice-bucket.


The rule serving white wine is the same regarding the direction, amount and motion of the pour. But the critical difference is that the wine will need to be kept in an ice-bucket, and will need to be poured with a napkin to prevent the moisture on the bottle from dripping on the table and the guests. 


Is White Wine Served Chilled?

Yes, white wine is served chilled. 


Knowing how to serve wine to the guests, means knowing at which temperature to serve each wine. There is a wine serving temperature chart that breaks down the exact temperature for each style of wine. But generally, white wine should be stored in a wine fridge, and left at the guests’ table in an ice-bucket. This maintains the consistent temperature and ensures guests gain the full experience.


How to Serve Wine at a Party?

Serving wine at a party is slightly less informal than in a restaurant.


While serving wine at a party, many of the rules remain in place, but generally has a less strict feel to the situation. It is still crucial to pour the wine without spilling; keeping white wine chilled and ensuring the women get served first. However, in many cases, if the guests are not seated, you are free to walk around and fill up the guests’ glasses as required, without needing to stick with the ‘women first’ rule. 


Many establishments have their own rules regarding wine service, so it is always a good idea to check with management about any requirements. But these are the basics that will ensure you provide the best wine service and guarantee the customers satisfaction!

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