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Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 13 of 21

How to Serve Wine Properly


Become a Great Wine Taster

Lesson 13 of 21

How to Serve Wine Properly


Lesson Info

How to Serve Wine Properly

How do we serve it? Which glasses? Right. Um, sweet sunglasses, also from Salto. Also all very beautiful and all meant for different things. Um, and based on the shape, they're gonna capture and distribute aromas in different ways, and it makes some sense to think about it by varietal. So this is a classic champagne flute that I can barely get my nose in it. And that's not the reason I don't like it. Um, I don't like it because it's it's really more about looking celebration. All champagne flutes are Then they are actually practically smelling the wine, and real champagne is actually it's real wine, and it's worthy of our consideration. Eso Why not put it in something like this? You know, I always order my champagne White wine, glass. This is a great white or all purposes. That's what we've been using here the last few days is what I use at home. Um, thinking more about cabernet and thinking more about Pino noir. Neb YOLO Reason being cabernet being more big, more robust, more bold. Um...

, it doesn't need to be captured in quite the same way the peanut does, which is which is perhaps less alcoholic, but also the more nuanced and more, more fine fine grain. More Lacey. So you want to capture all of that? Here was the captain Blood of something bigger. But importantly, you shouldn't do that just because we said so. You should drink out of the one you like the best. So, Vanessa, would you join me? Of course. I will be your first love. It's working for the same line in all four glasses. And this brings up a great point is like, how much you want to put in each glass, right? So this is about where it's meant to be, you know, And it's easier to report than is you fill it up to here. You're not actually using the glass for anything, right? You can't smell anything. Even if you feel it up up in here, the glass doesn't have a chance to do what it's actually meant to do. It is trying to help you enjoy it. And if you feel it up here, will you mind it will have a Dixie cup, right? So I'm gonna put it to where I think it should be in all of these glasses, and I'm gonna ask Vanessa What you think so? Obviously. You know, it's all the same wine. Yeah, but the question is, does it all smell the same? Okay, I will start off with the big one. Go for it. So this one on smells more cherry sweet. Great. This one's the same, but it's a little more subtle. Okay, A more subtle sweep, right? And so maybe it's more subtle because it's it's easier for the room was to blow up. Another glass is close to being captured. Right. Okay. Okay. I want to say this one's probably a little more appealing than these two. It's kind of got a nice their combination of the sweet, But also, I can smell, um, more of the cherry in it, but also kind of the balance it has. Yeah. Yeah. So didn't smell to ass idiot all or anything like that. The last one. No, I don't like this one at all. Why is that? Um, I I actually convey rly smell anything I can total, and it doesn't really like there's no appeal to me whatsoever. It just hand it. I get, like, a little whiff of I don't even know what it is. Isn't it crazy? And, you know it was all the same wine? No, not at all. If I smelled this one and this one of the exact same time, I would think they're totally, totally different. So the glass actually really does matter. So which one do you want for your house? I actually kind of really like this one. Yeah, me too. Yeah, that's reason home. Okay, Perfect. So it doesn't mean that you also should use this one at home. It means you should play around with it and find what you like, right? And it's only if where it's all about enjoying wine and enjoying it as you like it. Then figure this out for yourself. Don't say Oh, you know I'm drinking caps. I should use this from drinking. Pino, I should use that. You know, if you love this, you know, rock on, go for it. Where have you seen people use the larger glasses at this is this is actually a great shape for capturing cell aromas in like old Pino noir, Old red Burgundy, old Neb YOLO. So Barolo and Barbaresco from from Italy. Um, it's great for that, and I used them for that as well on occasion or when we're feeling feelin fancy, right? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Perfect. I'll let you continue. Okay. Great. Thanks. Questions the poor on those glasses. It looks like it's safe to go right below the curve. Exactly. Yeah, right. Right below it. Or just into it. I mean, this is this is holding a lot more wine than it looks like it because it's so broad. Um, yeah, Just just into the bend is a good place to be cool. Yeah. Yes. About the glasses that don't have the stem. Yeah, those That's a great question. You know, the glasses don't need to have a stem mean Vanessa didn't even employ the stem when she's really and that's totally fine, right? If you want to hold it like that, that's great. And that's speaks what you're talking about. Personally, I I like to use the stem because, you know, it keeps no, just makes it pretty once you like, figure out how to use these things. It's kind of fun. If you don't use the summer use glasses without a stem, then you know what am I doing? Well, I'm holding this. You're warming it up exactly warming it up in that, you know, winds cold and you want to warm it up? Yeah, go for it if you're warming up. Incidentally, well, the warmer the wine gets, there's definitely a tipping point, which it just kind of gets blowsy and blows off all of its aromas. And the fruits tend to get more cooked and pruning and students. It's less precise and less fine, and to me, that's less interesting. But, hey, if we're, you know, taking a picnic to the park, you know that's great. Totally. Or even just two straws. Fine, Right. But, um, yeah, whatever. Whatever you want to drink out of is totally okay. Dreams from our online audience. Um, he is wondering when you're faced with the opportunity to taste literally hundreds of not thousands of wines. What is the bust approach? Um, it seems he's gonna be attending to Italian wine festivals. And you know, just what's the best way to taste as many wines without consuming and how to keep that pallett fresh? Well, the first tip James's use a spit cup. Yeah, that's I mean, are you gonna be shocker it even even spitting it out. You have some sublingual absorption. And so you definitely are taking on alcohol. Even if you don't, you don't believe it or feel it. Um, so it's really good to spit that's gonna give you endurance to make it make it through the day. Um, another tip would be drink lots of water. Um, use crackers. You know of any variety crackers, bread, anything to freshen your palate. I use beer, actually, is a good thing to do or sparkling water. So you're always, like looking for the the physical reset. Because over time, if you're drinking red wine in particular tannins, they're gonna gonna build up and you're gonna have the weight of all this, the structure of all these red wines weighing on your palate. And so it's gonna be less pleasurable experience. You're gonna be less good a tasting, so it's meaningful to try to always refresh that via sparkling water, crackers, whatever it is in spitting, right. I have ah Yoni, who is actually one of our in studio students for one of our previous courses. Wondering what do you think of the Corbyn may pronouncing ring? I'm for preserving wine. That's a great question. It leads us to our fourth point. How long can we keep a bottle open? Um, Corbyn is it's a new technology where you actually don't pull the cork out at all. Um, it sticks a very a long needle through the cork into the bottle, and you can basically suck wind out of the bottle and into the glass while replacing the same volume within inert gas. And I was actually very fortunate to sit, um, a little more than a year ago with the Corbyn founder and designer, and we tasted the same wine that he had tapped with the Corvin. And he was seven years ago. That was the oldest wine. So with the same wine, the same bottle they'd opened seven years ago and intervals all the way up to today. And the idea was, you know, is the wine spoiled? And in no case, even the very, very old one that had all this volume taken out of it, Was it spoiled? It was definitely different, but it wasn't spoiled. But in reality, or any of us going to use this technology toe, save a bottle for eight years and though. But if you're gonna like, have that glass and maybe get on the airplane the next day and take a long trip. It's probably a really good solution. It's also a really good solution for restaurants where they're ableto to offer glasses of really expensive wine. And maybe you're not Get if you pull the cork and you want to sell expensive wine by the glass. If I don't sell it all tonight, well, it's pretty much worthless tomorrow. Where is it? The Corbyn. You can do that and meet her it out over this long as it takes to sell the bottle. So I'm a big fan. Um, other ways that we can keep opened bottles. Um, the vacuum pump that another another viewer mentioned in What you're doing there is you're basically taking air out a supposed to replacing it with something. And yes, it slows down the oxidation, but it doesn't stop the oxidation keeping them in the fridge. I even all the red wines open that we don't finish. I put him in the fridge. In fact, sometimes even before I drink, then put it in the fridge is because I like I like cooler. Maybe not that cool but I'll put in the fridge and that sort of it's on the to do list when I get home like a the end of the day and I'm ready to tap back into it. I pulled out of the fridge half an hour before I want to drink it so it starts to warm up. But again, keeping it cool means it'll keep longer. Um, faults. We talked a little bit about things that can go wrong on this is really more as a consumer, uh, and and so it's really interesting to see that we have different preferences for the ones that we have in front of us. So has heat or has oxygen's boiled wine. That's totally up to you, right? And it's important to say, You know, hey, if you if you order a glass of wine in a restaurant, you like it great, drink it and you know it doesn't matter how long it's been open or not. But if you don't like it, this is The important part is that you should speak up because frequently oxygen, like a glass bottom line that gets open to be served by the glass in a restaurant it's gonna sit around, very likely, you know, for some time, particularly that something obscure. It's not the house wine that gets poured a lot. Um, TC A. That's another very common fault. Yes, be kind of an example of the Australian wines that you should have used the screw cap or they're not having TC a. But there oxidizing like that? Um, no. So that's a That's a good question. It's It's a different question. So that's reduction. When when you when you don't use a cork when you use the screw cap, it's It's actually the absence of oxygen and that, and it's starved for it in closed environment. And so then it starts to smell. Not like it's old, but like it, it wants a breath and that manifests itself as a burnt tire smell. Yeah, very different. The last one here on T C. A. That we've talked about, and it's important to keep talking about it. That's the insidious cork taint, and we talked about yesterday. It doesn't mean cork fill in the one. It doesn't mean the cork fell apart means the cork actually had an infection. And it's where it's, um you know something that actually comes from the crowned meets. The chlorine used in the cleaning process and it forms is compound called Try Claro anise All and again, it smells like that wet dog. It's pretty, you know, it's at least you know what for? 10% of wines, depending on who you believe. And so I just wanted to bring it up to say to you like, Hey, if you get a glass of wine or a bottle of wine in a restaurant. I had one in a restaurant last night and it was Cork. You just send it back and it's totally okay. I think it's important to feel like to feel empowered in that sense. And even if he was like, you know, I don't know if it's corked or not, I just don't like it. Start the discussion. I want you to feel like, you know, to come away from this feel like you can always talk about it, right? And any good, any good wine shop or any good restaurant. We'll have that discussion with you. Yeah, questions is that what happens if you're opening safe to say it has a TC. If you're opening it and just start Crump. Corky's crumbles. It's definitely not it. That's definitely not it. No. So the sickness, if you will, that it has. It manifests itself on Lee as a smell, as an aroma, an aroma and taste. You'll taste it and smell it. But if the cork itself breaks, that just means that you know it broke. Doesn't mean anything other that maybe, you know, the humidity levels weren't right. Maybe it's just really, really old. If you ever open old bottles of wine, those Corsair really, really fragile. And it's good work to get him out and just, you know, keep the one clean but frequently come out in tons of pieces. And just because the cork breaks has no bearing on the quality of the wine. Yeah, a second question. Fake works. What do those come in the plastic works? It's also a great question. I think that I don't I don't like I don't use them in my own work. Um, and I try not to drink wine that's under a plastic cork. When they first happened, it was like, Oh, this is the solution, you know. We're not gonna have this infection anymore. Plastic so you can't have that. What they found with with the early versions of that cork is that it actually took flavor out of wine, which is a trip. So it was like a sponge for flavor. And all of a sudden wine tasted like less, which is interesting, so that doesn't really feel like a meaningful solution to me. And then, you know, so screw caps that we talked about just the second ago are they solved the core problem, too, but they have their own issues, so there's there's no silver bullet. There's no perfect solution. It's just a matter of, you know, what do you want to live with, right? You can age. You shouldn't age a plastic court, I guess probably. You want to be a bad created quality of a line last very, very true, I think very commonly, though, you're seeing very high quality wines under screw cap and winds of great expense. You mean I can think of two or three wines at two or 300 bucks a bottle that actually use the screw cap, you know? Is it going to change over time? Well, it's certainly going to stay fresher under the screw cap than it will a cork. But is it ever gonna achieve the same patina that would have achieved under the cork? I My vote is no, you know. And so, for the wines I makes and drink, you know, they're not under a screw cap. Thank you. Yeah. Thing Ari aiders. One decanting. Okay, so that's the you can do that. And it's the same thing. Is just, you know, if if there weren't a sentiment, you just don't put upside down and, um or that it interacts with the air, the more it's gonna change more quickly. And, you know, it's the same thing. Like, you know, why do we swirl it? You're just volatile, easing the esters to pop him up. And so they're easier to smell. Or, in the case of a wine, that's that is, uh, younger and closed. Still, it hasn't hasn't begun to, like, unfurl and show itself. That'll help. Um, just accelerates the process. Yeah. Other questions? Yes. Do you try to drink a glass of wine within a certain amount of time? That's a great question. I generally never suffer from waiting too long to finish my glass of wine. But practically speaking, you know there's there's no set formula, it's going to change. And as the volume goes down, the change is gonna happen more rapidly, right? Cause you're left with less and less and less, but with a greater surface area. So it is changing on def. It's something that's old and maybe fragile or delicate or really pretty, and I like it the way it is. You know, if I if I wait, that oxygen, oxygen oxidation is going to keep proceeding, and what I loved is going to be gone. And so it's it's just sort of There is no formula. It's just feel. So when you get it and you like it, just enjoy it. Yeah. Other questions I have a question from one of our viewers is a glass where brand important when it comes to choosing and if so, why? Well, I mean, it's just like buying a watch, buying a car, you know? I mean, you want to swat? Sure. Do you want a Rolex? They both tell time. Um, you know, when maybe tells time better than another or more precisely than another. I think you know where the pieces that really matters is the lip and of a very fat lip on a wine glass. It's gonna like this is sound sort of strange and very nuanced, but it actually delivers the line farther back on your palate and you actually receive less information. You really want this to be to be thin and not get in the way of enjoying it. But actually have a deliver it Thio thio, all parts of your mouth week. We are going to like it. And so I think it's worth at least shopping in the realm of good things. You know, Libby glasses air. Great. If you want to, like, you know, about some off the floor and spent two bucks. But, um, you know, if you're gonna actually, you know, have nice one. It's worth increasing your your ability to enjoy it at its highest level. And you do that with something like a Xarelto. Yeah, there are. There are other, you know, other great companies that make great glassware. This is the one that I really love

Class Description

Do you cower when presented with the wine list? Feel at a loss while walking the wine aisle? You are not alone! Many of us struggle to differentiate between the subtleties of the world’s oldest beverage. But wine is not destined to be difficult! Join Master Sommelier Richard Betts for a fun and informative guide to buying, tasting, and enjoying wine.

Become a Great Wine Taster is your guide to wine varietals, trends, and tastes. You’ll learn Richard’s “wine is a grocery, not a luxury” approach to wine while exploring the differences between regions and the history behind them. Richard will teach a simple method for looking at, smelling, and tasting each wine so you understand the nuances and the provenance of the drink in your glass. You’ll study the important factors and features of winemaking by exploring ideas through related varietals. Richard will discuss:

  • Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – the impact of climate and oak
  • Riesling, Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Zinfandel – balance, sweetness, and alcohol content
  • Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio, Gruner Veltliner, and Chenin Blanc – important grapes, small subtleties
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s subjects – regional expression of the ubiquitous reds
  • Pinot Noir – temperamental grapes and growing in France, California, Oregon and Australia
  • Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo – wine production in Italy and Spain
  • Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache and friends – blends and winemaker’s intent

You’ll also learn about the unique ways we modify wine, like making it sparkle, heating it, turning it into Port, and so much more! This class will help you get more comfortable with wine, remove much of it’s mystery, and show you how to integrate it into your everyday life.

Pair your appreciation for wine with knowledge in this accessible and educational class. Join Richard for Become a Great Wine Taster and never fumble over wine selection again.


a Creativelive Student

This course was amazing. As someone who felt really intimidated by wine before, I finished the course feeling a lot more confident and excited to try out my new wine knowledge. Great instructor with great content. Would definitely recommend!


Good course, needs to identify wines to set up tasting. It was fun to do with friends. Perfect to watch in the segments.


Fabulous! I've passed the Introductory Exam for the Court of Master Sommeliers, but, never ginned up (pun intended) the deductive tasting. This did it. There are several of us who purchased this course and are doing out best to re-create the tastings and memorize the map. Thanks so much for the class and for Richard Betts.