“How To” Serve Wine to Your Guests Well – Tips

Hectic and holidays go together, don’t they?  When we have dinner party guests we want to share our best with them and to do it well – wine too. If you are new to the world of wine, that can be intimidating at times, can’t it? No worries! Your CKJY Exports Team is sharing SIMPLE steps of how to serve wine to help you look like a professional and impress your guests when you host a dinner party. 

"How to" Serve Wine to Your Guests Well

CKJY Exports How to Serve Wine Tips =

1. Planning, Shopping & Options –

Simple math … your typical 750 ml wine bottle has 4 glasses of wine in it the way we typically pour. This can help you plan your shopping accordingly. If you are serving glasses of wine, you will most likely expect 2 glasses per person. (Some drink less and some drink more – however, that typically works out for planning purposes in my experience of hosting dinner parties.)

Always serve water, tea and coffee as additional beverages. This will help your guests “pace” their drinking and reduce alcohol intake. After all, the purpose of a dinner party is to have an enjoyable evening and not a drink fest, right?

And/Or … serve a wine punch! Winter white Sangria is a favorite or ours. It looks festive and is tasty. Why serve punch? It is a festive drink and pretty in either a punch bowl or pitcher. Also, it helps your wine go farther with a crowd.  There are many different recipes you can try and mix it up.

Tip – Add differently colored fruit to make it more festive.


An alternate recipe for Holiday White Wine Sangria can be found on Picture the Recipe’s website.

2. Red Wine –

Storing Red Wine – The higher the alcohol content the warmer you can store the wine. However, the average home does not maintain the appropriate temperatures. The lighter the red wine, the cooler the optimum storage temperature 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Fuller red wines and fortified wines can be stored closer to normal home temperatures, 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Temperatures and serving wines most wines are recommended to serve in the 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit range. For reds if the wine aromas are too strong, it is recommended that you cool the red wine in your refrigerator for 15-30 minutes prior to decanting and serving it.

Red Wines Need to Breathe a Bit

Decanting – All red wines should be “decanted.” What does this mean? Realistically, it means exposing the wine to oxygen. This allows the wine’s aroma to normalize and reduces certain acids or tannins that make the wine taste smoother. For bold wines, 15-30 minutes of decanting is preferable.

Serving Container – Essentially, this is pouring a bottle of wine into a decanter or pitcher. There are many different shapes and sizes of decanters.

Pouring the wine into another pitcher so that you maximize wine’s exposure to the air is the goal. This means to not pour neatly as we are used to doing to minimize spilling. Pour the wine down the side of the pitcher or decanter (similar to how you pour beer from a keg into a cup). This will help with the oxidation. (Also, they sell aerators that you can buy to pour your wine through as you place it in the decanter though these aren’t necessary.)

Once you decant a wine, you need to drink it. Why? Because the oxidation process will continue turning your leftover wine into a vinegar. This means in a dinner party situation, you want to decant some and then some more as you see what your guests are drinking. This will minimize unnecessary spoilage.

Glasses – Wow! There are so many choices in glasses.  Glasses are bowl shaped to help hold the aromas and enhance the enjoyment of your wine. Most

Red & White wine - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog

3. White Wine

How to serve wine begins with temperature and storage when it comes to white wine because it differs from red wine.

Storage – The recommended storage temperature for white wines are 45 – 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This means we should put them in their refrigerators for storage.

Opening Tips – Because we store our white wines in refrigerators, we need to let this wine warm a bit prior to serving. When you serve it straight out of the refrigerator, you will lose it’s lovely aromas and the taste may not be quite right. When you allow time for the wine to warm up slightly, the enjoyability increases.

Serving Container – White wines do not need to be decanted and can be served straight out of their bottles well. 

Glasses – White wines are more delicate in nature; therefore, glasses to serve white wine are typically thinner than red wine glasses. Allowing the more delicate aromas to be appreciated as you drink them. It minimizes the oxygen exposure prior to your drinking your glass.

4. Sparkling Wine

Storage – Definitely store sparkling wines in your refrigerator. Ideally they should be kept at 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Opening Tips – Always keep the bottle pointed away from you and other people at an angle when opening sparkling wine. The wine is under pressure. The force of the cork coming out can hurt people and things. Best to angle it at about 45 degrees after removing the foil and the wire cage.

CKJY Exports recommends you watch Madeline Puckette’s online tutorial on Opening Champagne for professional tips. However, learning how to serve wine does involve a bit of safety too.

How to Open Champagne Safely (Pics & Video)


Serving Container – Sparkling wine or champagne is served straight from the bottle. 

Glasses – Tall slender glasses are chosen for sparkling wines and champagnes because they preserve your bubbles longer as you enjoy it.

To learn more details on how to serve wine and enjoy it, our CKJY Exports Team recommends you read Madeline Puckette’s Wine Folly book. It is packed with useful and thoughtful information on wines.

Flute glasses - CKJY Exports Wine & Spirits Blog
Flute glasses

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