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Wine Wise - Serving the Wine

( Originally Published 1933 )

In opening the bottled wine, great care should be taken in cutting off the cap and in removing the cork so that the bottle is not shaken or jolted. The best plan is to use the lever corkscrew, which removes the cork without a jerk.

Next carefully wipe the inside of the mouth of the bottle, so that no part of the cork may be clinging to the glass. Then wrap a napkin around the bottle so as to catch the drip and avoid damage to the tablecloth.

Aged wine should be poured without shaking the bottle, the best practice being to rest the bottle on the arm so that the wine may be poured out slowly and steadily with a slightly lowering and raising of the bottle.

The different wineglasses help to ornament the dinner table. A guest can usually tell by a glance at his place what wines are to be served by the glasses. In setting the table, the water goblet is placed at the right of the knives and the wineglasses are grouped to the right of the goblet or in a straight line starting from the goblet towards the right.

The courtesy of pouring wine properly calls for serving the host first, so that if any particles of cork are lodged in the neck of the bottle none of his guests will receive them. The custom is to pour just a small portion into the host's glass and then serve to the right immediately after each course is served. After all the guests have been served, the host's glass receives attention.

In serving wine, never fill a glass to the brim-pour only until the glass is two-thirds full. Then the guest who wishes to do so may give his glass a slight whirling motion, releasing the aromas of the wine. The host should see that no guest's wineglass goes unfilled if he desires more. As to the amount of wine to serve, the old English saying may serve as a guide:

"One quarter bottle, Reticence,
One half bottle, Sufficience,
Two thirds bottle, Eloquence,
Full bottle, Benevolence."

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