How to enjoy a good Spanish wine

How to enjoy a good Spanish wine

It is fundamental to select a good company to share the bottle; they should have the same sensibility towards the wine. There is nothing more disappointing than opening one of our “treasures” and then somebody ask for coca cola.

The conditions of the room influence greatly the taste and, because the tasting is done with our senses, we should minimize the complications that could arise. The room should be well ventilated without strong smells (tobacco, meals, perfumes…) and should be well illuminated. There should be a white background (could be a white table cloth, or in lack hereof a white napkin or a piece of paper) to enable us to contrast the colour of the wine.
How to enjoy a good Spanish wine

The “decantation” is also an important factor. If the wine has a deposit at the bottom, it should be kept upright at least for two hours, so it can sink down to the bottom and be eliminated by pouring out the wine carefully. This consists in transferring the content of the bottle to another recipient, enabling us to separate the deposit. This is a natural substance from the grape and very common in red wines of a certain age. It interferes in the tasting of the wine and makes it furry, and this is why it should be eliminated.

The serving temperature: How many times have we been told that “red wines should be consumed at environmental temperature” without defining this. The problem is that the temperature often is rather high (heating of the room, proximity to, for instance, coffee machines and other heating elements in the bars and the restaurants), and this is far from the term “chambré” used by the French and indicates 18 ºC. Nothing happens if a bottle is placed in the fridge to accommodate it to this temperature.The recommended temperatures for the different wines are:
Type of Wine

Temperature

White young wines

7-8º C

Sweet white wines

5-6º

Champagne

6-10º C

Whites in barrel

10-12º C

Rosé wines

8-10º C

Young red wines

12-15º C

Red strong wines

14-17º C

Old wines

18-20º C

Amontillado

12-15º C

Olorosos

14-16º C

Porto and Madeira wines

13-14º C

The ideal is that the wines reach the optimal temperature for consumption without brusqueness and gradually. Never put the wine into a freezer or a red wine into the freezer. In most cases they will be cooled excessively.

Finally, to complete the comments made so far it is very important to serve it adequately. It is done before the meal starts. This way the wine will be the protagonist for about 10 minutes and claim our attention. Later it will play a second role in being a good companion to the gastronomy. This rule does not apply if our guests are not accustomed to tasting, and wine without meal does not call their attention. In this case the wine is served just after the arrival of the dishes.

glass-catavinios

Wine is always served in colourless crystal glasses, and if possible of generous proportion. This enables a major oxygenation and can develop a much more exuberant flavour. Do never use ordinary glasses as in many restaurants, and if so, request the appropriate glass.

How to enjoy a good Spanish wine

Never fill a glass more than half, because on one hand it can impede a correct oxygenation, and in case we are dealing with wines that should be consumes cold (rose wine, white wine, sparkling wine…) a bigger volume served can cause an increase in the temperature of the wine if it is not consumed rather quickly (with undesirable consequences!). Grip always the glass on the stem to avoid warming the content and that the odour of the hand interferes with the tasting.