The Serving Sequence of Wines at the Dinner Table

The Serving Sequence of Wines at the Dinner Table

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Ragazzi che brindano durante il pranzo

Connoisseurs will tell you that a good meal is the perfect balance of flavors, spices and aromas where not one dominates the palate but instead each complement the other. When all of these combinations marry properly, our senses are awakened and the meal reaches a true level of perfection. Choosing the right wine at the right moment is an art form, and the serving sequence of wines at the dinner table is important.

Then of course there are the basic principles of matching food to wine, and knowing when to serve the right wine at the right time, and of course how much wine to serve. The number of wines which should be served at a meal depends on the type of lunch or dinner and how important it is. The sequence of wine serving is always the same with no exception, first served are weak-bodied wines and more structured, dull-bodied wines are served later in the meal.

Meals should generally be started with a glass of something bubbly like a classic sparkling wine which make the perfect accompaniment to appetizers, stirring up all the necessary gastric juices to start off a meal. Then is it time for still wined, always serving lighter ones to begin with followed by more structured whites. Here you can add a young rose wine but this should only be done before the second course. Red wines are typically reserved for second course meals, so serve an aged or important red with this course. And of course to end a meal, you will need a white dessert wine, a Moscato wine or an aromatic sparkling wine with low alcohol content.

Here is a list of dinner wines which should be served in this sequence:

– Dry Spumante (Charmat process)
– Dry Spumante (classic method)
– Young & fruity white wines
– Dry & aromatic white wines
– Mature, structured, dry white wines
– Rosé wines
– Novello red wines
– Medium – aged red wines
– Mature red wines
– Sweet, sparkling wines
– Passito wines
– Liqueurs

Don’t forget that you may have the right wine, but it’s just as important to have the right wine label.