In order to be able to enjoy a wine really unclouded and to fully exploit its potential, appropriate preparation is essential, depending on the type of wine.
First of all, the question arises in what company, in what mood and in what place? In the restaurant by candlelight, in the beach café with a view of the sea and the sparkling starry sky, with business friends after the conclusion of a contract, in front of the flickering fireplace in cosy togetherness, to the fish, to the grill, at the Heurigen (wine tavern), after a walk, on the third rainy day in Tuscany or on the 50th wedding anniversary. The ambience plays a role that should not be underestimated. Who has not experienced the deceptive magic of a holiday wine? A wine should be enjoyed at the "right time", at best when it is ready to drink or ideally when it has reached its peak (see also under the keywords aging and durability). And, of course, the wine to be enjoyed should also go well with the food or harmonise with it if it is drunk with the meal.
If the occasion is a meal in a restaurant, the matching wine must be selected from the wine list, which requires a certain knowledge of wine. In more upscale restaurants there is the function of the sommelier, who can be very helpful in the selection. Before opening, the label is shown to the guest. After checking (brand, producer, vintage, etc.) he accepts with a nod of the head. In good time before consumption, it must be decided whether decanting (aeration of the wine) should take place, which is the responsibility of the restaurant when visiting the restaurant. There are divergent opinions on this from "by no means" to "absolutely necessary". The correct wine temperature is an important factor. If necessary, wines can also be cooled very quickly using systems such as Ravi Wine Chiller or Rapid Ice. Opening the bottle should be a small ceremony. First you cut with a small knife (never with the tip of a corkscrew) just below the glass bead around the neck of the bottle and then you remove the capsule. For many bottles the removal is facilitated by a special device (ribbon on the capsule).
The corkscrew is now pricked in the middle of the cork and gently turned in; it must not pierce the cork. It is pulled in one piece without disturbing the deposit. Now it is checked by intensive smelling whether there is a cork taster. This error can be weak or intrusive, but is always unacceptable. Every good restaurant or dealer will immediately bring another bottle of wine or accept an exchange without any problems. In good restaurants, the cork is placed next to the guest's glass to give him the opportunity to follow the check. As the last step in opening the bottle, the neck of the bottle is carefully cleaned with a...