Professional Wine Serving Techniques

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The Rules of Giving Good Wine and Table Service

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When it comes to knowing the basics and the professional tactics on serving wine, your presentation counts. One of the biggest mistakes a server can make about wine is not the wrong suggestion; but, allowing too much time to lapse between the time the order was placed and the bottle is delivered.

From the  order, presentation of the wine bottle, to return table visits, there are a number of distinctive ways to improve your wines sales, tips and provide service. Use the following notes on brushing up on your wine service skills:

Present the Wine Bottle – The bottle presentation should be directed to the host (the person who ordered the wine). This allows the lady or gentleman to confirm that the bottle is what they ordered before you open it. Here is a checklist of reminders on delivering and presenting the wine bottle.

10-Steps to Uncorking a Wine Bottle

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Uncorking a bottle of wine should not be taken lightly. When improperly opened, many things can go wrong with the wine. For starters, a broken cork means tiny specks floating around in the wine glass.  The wrong technique can lead to a broken wine bottle or even worse spilling on your guests.

  1. Run the knife of the corkscrew along the foiled bulge at the top of the bottle. The goal is to remove the foil without moving the bottle. Then, tuck the foil into your apron or pocket.
  1. Using a clean napkin, wipe the bottle’s lip.
  1. Next, place the bottle on a flat surface if possible. Puncture the cork between the centers of the cork at one o’clock (For lefthanders, that will be 11 o’clock).
  1. (Keeping the bottle immobile will reduce the chances of uneven corking or breaking the cork).
  1. Flip and leverage the clamp to the bottle’s lip.
  1. Holding the clamp with your thumb gradually lift the handle until the cork is 50 percent of out the bottle.
  1. Just before the final pull, give the cork another turn to make sure that the coil is through the cork, entirely.
  1. Gently lift at the handle, until only a quarter of the cork is in the bottle. (Avoid tugging, yanking or popping the cork, it could break).
  1. Meticulously wiggle the cork and cork screw until the cork is out.

  • Unscrewing Wine CapsAfter you present the bottle to the host, using the napkin, cover and uncap the bottle. Quickly, place the cap into your pocket and pour a sample of the wine for the host.

    Before you return to the table with the bottle, make sure that everyone partaking in the wine has the appropriate wine glass.

  • The show begins as soon as you return to the table with the wine bottle.
  • The professional method of wine serving entails that you display the label to the host.
  • After the host approves, open the bottle.
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Uncorking wine profits Exercise #3

If you have never opened a bottle of wine, practice, practice, practice.

Weekly, ask the bartender at your place of employment, if there are any wine bottles, you can open to hone your uncorking skills.

After the Bottle is Uncorked…

Once the bottle has been opened, there is a series of protocol of service:

Red wines should be filled a third of the glass.
  • Although the cork ritual is futile, it should be offered to the host and placed in front of his or her place setting.
  • Again, be sure to wipe the lip of the bottle.
  • Next, pour one to two ounces for the host to sample.

After the host accepts the wine, begin pouring the rest of the guests’ glasses. Depending on the guidelines of your restaurant, the first pour is clockwise

from the host OR the first ladies’ wine glass, clockwise from the host.

  • Pour accordingly, to assure that there is enough wine for the host. A 750-ml bottle has a 25-ounce capacity. It usually serves four . At the most, it can be stretched to serve up to six-people without shorting anyone’s glass.
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Glasses of white wine are ½ full.
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  • The key to avoid spilling is to give the bottle a slight twist upon the conclusion of the pour. You can also use a clean napkin between pours.

Bottle Placement

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Important Wine Pouring Note:

During the initial pour (after you have opened the bottle, never try to empty the wine bottle. It appears pushy.

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When someone orders a bottle of wine, it should always be in full view — meaning that even when the wine is being poured, the label should be visible to the host. Red wines find proper placement on the right of the host. White wine on the other hand, gets the icy treatment in an ice bucket, close by the host. A napkin should be draped over the neck of the bottle in a pattern.

Wine Selling and Service Pointers

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Beyond up selling wine, your guests expect the dining experience to be an enjoyable one. Here are a few hints and reminders:

Make wine suggestions during the first table approach. Even if it means just leaving your wine list on the table.

When your customers place their entrée order, make a few pairing suggestions.

Check in often to fill their glasses.

Upon the conclusion of dinner, don’t forget to up sell a dessert wine, port or champagne.

Remember not to over serve.

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