Pouring Wines and Al oholic Beverages
It may seem simple to pour the contents of a bottle into a glass, but there is a way to do it that is not only correct, but easy. Hold the bottle round the middle (’A woman by the neck, a bottle by the waist’ says the wine trade) and, if it is swathed in a napkin so as to absorb any drips from a bottle taken out of the ice bucket, make sure that your grip is firm. Pour gently, if possible without splashing. Never fill any glass – the level of the wine poured should be one-third or, at most, halfway up the side of the glass. If it is filled in excess of this, the drinker will find it impossible to swirl the wine round and enjoy the bouquet, which is one of the pleasures of wine and one that has been paid for. Do not rest the bottle (or decanter) on the side of the glass. If you do, sooner or later you will lean on the glass and upset it. When you have finished pouring, give the bottle or decanter a slight turn (clockwise if you are righthanded) as you begin to lift it away from the glass. This will prevent any drips falling on the tablecloth or table. Practise with a bottle of water if you are not certain how to do this – simply give the bottle a little turn as you lift it. If someone has hardly touched their glass of wine or makes a motion of putting their hand over the glass, this indicates that they do not want any more – do not insist on topping up the glass.
If, on a hot day, the wine has not had time to cool down to a refreshing temperature, pour a small quantity into each glass – people may be longing for a drink – and replace it in the ice bucket until it has cooled adequately. People who keep on topping up glasses can be a nuisance, sometimes they will do so with tepid wine, so that nobody ever gets a properly cool helping; sometimes, too, the drinker wants to concentrate on the wine and finds the ‘refreshing1 of the glass an interruption. In general, pour an adequate helping from time to time, don’t fidget with frequent toppings-up. As the wine in the bottle or decanter is used, make sure that, if you go on pouring right to the last, the wine coming through the neck of the bottle is still bright. Any deposit will spoil the look of the wine in the glass and it is better to leave a mouthful in the bottle, that can later be used in the kitchen, than to ruin someone’s final drink. If anyone who is the host orders a second bottle in a restaurant, the wine waiter must be requested to allow this to be tasted out of a fresh glass before the glasses of other diners are topped up; should the second bottle be in any way defective, the wine remaining in all the glasses will be spoiled if this is simply poured on top of the contents of the first bottle.