Millesima Tips #8 | How to serve an old bottle of wine

Millesima Tips #8 | How to serve an old bottle of wine

In this series of Millesima Tips we will discuss vintage wines. Where to buy them, how to store and protect them for several years and how to serve them. The older a wine is, the more difficult it can be to serve it properly without damaging the wine. With time, wine becomes more elegant and fragile.

Choosing a Bottle

© Chateau Siran

© Chateau Siran

Before serving a bottle of vintage wine, you first need to choose one! Luckily we specialize in vintage wines, storage in perfect condition and matured for immediate consumption and Futures, wines that are purchased for later consumption. At Millesima, we have wines for all occasions and we are always happy to help you find what you are looking for. After purchasing or aging your wine, it must be stored properly until the perfect occasion arises. 

Waiting for THE moment

© Pixabay

© Pixabay

In Millesima Tips 6, we discuss several ways you can store your wine that allows it to age (for younger wines) and that provide a stable environment (for vintage wines). They can be stored in wine coolers or wine cellars. With precious wines, it is always best to be safe: ensure that it’s stored horizontally (keeping the wine in contact with the cork to prevent drying out the cork), in a temperature controlled environment with proper humidity levels and away from light & vibration. It is important that once the bottle has been selected for service that it is brought to the correct temperature.

The time has come

When serving old wine, one of the trickiest and most complicated steps is actually opening the bottle. The experience of drinking a vintage wine can be ruined if the proper tools are not selected. One of the most revered tools for opening an old bottle of wine is the “Ah-So” bottle opener. This two part corkscrew stabilizes the cork using a standard helix, while the second mechanism (two prongs) pulls the cork out while squeezing it together.

© Adobe Stock

© Adobe Stock

Once the cork has been pulled there are only two steps between you and your vintage bottle of wine. Old wines reveal their truest and most pure expressions after aeration. Imagine waking up after several years of sleep. Your bodily functions would take a while to kick back into action. The same goes for wine. It must be introduced to oxygen, or aerated, through decanting (link to decanter vs. carafe article).

After the wine is decanted the wine must be served in the correct glassware. Depending on the wine, there are certain glasses that have been created to enhance the “breathability” of a wine. Choose the right one, and enjoy!

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Gain access to the inner circle of the world of fine wines


Register online to receive the free weekly Newsletter from the Millesima Blog in order to:

  • Take advantage of the latest exclusive articles on the wine sphere
  • Learn what goes on backstage at the greatest estates through our videos
  • Receive alerts concerning upcoming tastings and events we organize

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