Whatever the occasion, impress your guests by following these basic tips for a perfectly served wine. It will make you look and feel like the ultimate host.

Have you ever been underwhelmed by a well-rated wine? Odds are that one of the following steps was missed by the server. Many factors go in to how a wine tastes – from the serving temperature to the type of wine glass you use. Here is a brief overview of tips, from the Wine Spectator, to help you bring out your inner sommelier.

Wine temperature is a usual culprit for an underwhelming taste. If you’ve been serving your whites and reds at the same temperature, odds are that you haven’t been getting the most out of either. Lighter whites and sparkling wines should be served around 5° to 10° C to bring out the fruity flavour and fresh taste. Full-bodied whites and lighter reds should be served at 10° to 15° C, to maintain the fresh taste while also picking up on a more complex flavour. And finally, full-bodied reds such as our 2012 Syrah and Meritage, should be served at 15° to 18° C. This helps to bring out the subtle flavours. To find out more about getting the perfect temperature – click HERE.

Now that you’ve found the perfect serving temperature, the next step is decanting. Decanting is the process in which you separate any sediment that may have formed in the wine bottle from the wine itself. At the same time, it serves to aerate the wine, which allows the bouquet and flavours to come forward. You will probably find differing opinions online as to whether you need to decant different types of wine so decanting is up to your discretion. Sediment naturally builds in bottles of red older than five years, while not as often in white. To find out how to decant your wine in a few easy steps – click HERE.

And lastly, not every glass is made equal. The type of glass you use influences your perception of the taste, aromas and colour. The type of wine you serve will dictate the best size and shape of glass. For a Meritage, it would be best to try a Bordeaux glass. While a Syrah would be better suited to a Burgundy glass. When considering stemless glasses, remember that holding the glass by the bowl means you may be warming the wine above proper serving temperature. And whatever you purchase, make sure you’re not overfilling the glass. Leaving a glass half-empty allows you to swirl it and release the aromas. To find out more about pairing different glasses to different wines – click HERE.