Impress your guests with you stellar serving and sipping skills.
Don't serve champagne in a flute
Yes, it feels super chic, but its shape can make bubbly less pleasing to the palette, according to Georg Riedel of the 250-year-old Riedel wine glass company, who prefers a white wine glass. Here's why: the latter has a larger surface area and mouth, which allows the sparkling's aroma to open up better. Riedel has designed different glass shapes that, according to its research, best bring out the notes in different grapes. But if you only have room for one type of wine glass in your cupboards, make it tulip-shaped, says top Canadian sommelier Véronique Rivest—this is the best shape for swirling (sans spilling) and then funnelling the aromas straight onto your taste buds.
Do (slightly) chill your reds
That Napa Cab Sauv should be served at 14 C, not room temperature (21 C). "Let them warm in your glass," says Riedel. "This reduces the evidence of alcohol, so the wine tastes much fresher."
Do (or don't) decant
Decanting or carafing aerates wine, thereby softening the flavour. But, hey, if you're the type who likes your wines to be a bit firmer, drink 'em out of the bottle by all means.* (*Not the literal bottle.)
Do hold the glass by the stem
This goes for all types of wine glasses because fingerprints. Also, never fill the glass to the top. It needs to breathe and you can always refill, we promise.
Riedel Vinum Extreme Rosé Provence glass ($84.90 for a set of 2, at riedelcanada.ca)