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Serving Wine Before Dinner

A wine low in acidity is best as an aperitif. To keep from interfering with the taste of the coming meal, a good wine should not linger in the mouth, yet whet the appetite.If you want a red wine before food, drink it a little cooler than normal, since a cooler temperature can mask some of the acidity. A red too high in tannins may be too strong. Conversely, if beginning with white wine, serve it a little warmer than you would normally. The change in temperature reveals more of the character of the wine as well as better complementing your palette. Sweet wines are a good choice because their flavours can stand on their own without food. While dry wines also help to stimulate the appetite. Also, this is the perfect time for a light sparkling wine, as they are not usually consumed with food. Some fortified wines make good sipping drinks. Full of flavour, they are too strong to drink with the meal, drinking them before allows you to truly enjoy them. As aperitifs, though, they may be too filling to be served before some foods.

Serving Wine After Dinner

Wine is an excellent after dinner drink, concluding the meal in a relaxing, friendly atmosphere. Common after dinner drinks include dessert wines, white wines, and fortified wines such as Port or Sherry. Generally sweet, after dinner wines usually go well with pudding, pastries, and some cakes. If served alone for dessert, a tray of different cheeses and nuts helps to compliment the wine's flavour. As the bookend of the flavour of a meal, the wine should complement the food served. Serving a heavy wine after a filling dinner may make you and your guests uncomfortably full. As a theme, keep in mind that the time after dinner should be spent leisurely, and the right wine can help set the mood. A variety of after dinner wines are available in today's market.

  • Wood Port
  • intage Port
  • Sherry
  • Madeira
  • Brandy
  • Cognac

In addition, there are several types of Brandy.

  • Calvados or Apple Brandy
  • Armagnac or French Brandy
  • Eau-de-Vie or Fruit Brandies