WSET level 1, Element 2: The Storage and Service of Wine
Below are the notes of the second element.
THE STORAGE AND SERVICE OF WINE
The Storage of wine
When wine is stored incorrectly, it can affect the flavor of wine, and in some cases, wine can become faulty. Under are listed some general rules about storing wine:
- Long-term storage: wine must be kept at a cool and constant temperature. Extreme changes in temperature, like too cold or too warm can damage the wine.
- The wine has to be in constant contact with the cork; therefore wine must be stored on the side. In case the cork dries out, it can let in air, and the air will damage the winemaking it stale and old.
- Wines must be kept away from sunshine and powerful artificial light. Light can heat the wine, making it stale and old before its time.
Preparation of wine- White, rosé and sparkling wine have to be chilled before serving. But if white wines are too cold, it can affect the taste of the wine.
- Red wine: commonly known is that red wine should be served at room temperature. We should pay attention to what time of the year are we serving red wine. The room might be too cold or too warm, due to air conditioning or heating.
here are various types and sizes of wine glasses, all of them are designed to emphasize a particular wine's characteristics. If we use the right glass, it will enhance the drinking experience. While we might not get the right glass for the right wine in each restaurant, it is essential to know the right glasses for each type of wine.
Red wine: best served in large-size glasses. This is allowing the air to come in contact with the wine and develop aromas and flavors. Few swirls will do only good.
White and Rosé wine: best served in medium-sized glasses, that way the fresh and fruit characteristics are gathered and directed to the top of the glass. Sparkling wine: usually served in flute glasses. The shape of the glasses enhances the effect of the bubbles (wine's aroma) which is allowing them to travel through the wine before bursting on the top of the glass. The flat shaped, movie champagne glasses are inappropriate because they lose the bubbles fast. Fortified wine: should be served in small glasses to bring out the fruit characteristics, rather than the alcohol.
Preparing glasses: The wine glasses should be sparkling clean. Otherwise even a tinies amount of dirt can ruin the flavor of the wine. Also if the glasses are machine washed they should be checked for remains of detergent. Dirty glass can ruin a sparkling wine. It's recommended to polish each glass before serving.
Ice buckets: For serving sparkling or white wine we should use the ice bucket to keep the wine chilled. It exists a lot of different types of ice buckets; there is no better or worse type, it's a matter of preference.
Opening a bottle of light wine:
1. Take away the top of the capsule by cutting right under the neck of the bottle. 2. Clean the neck of the bottle. 3. Screw in the corkscrew leaving the last part of it out of the cork. And gently pull out. Most of the corkscrews have two tires which help get the whole cork out. 4. Clean the neck of a possible residue of cork.
Opening a bottle of Sparkling Wine
Danger: Each bottle of sparkling wine has pressure inside. When the bottle is chilled to the right temperature, this pressure is lower. 1. Take off the foil and loosen the wire cage.
2. Keep the cork in place by holding your thumb on top of it.
3. The bottle should be at 30', whit one hand gripping the cork, with the other gripping the bottom.
4. Always turn the bottle, not the cork. You should try to keep the cork in place, so it does not fly out while turning the bottle.
5. While the cork is going out slowly, it releases the pressure, and you will hear quite "phut."
Serving wine by the glass
- Brightness in the wine, if you see anything different in the wine, it could be that the wine is spoiled.
- There shouldn't be any particulars floating in the wine.
- The wine should smell fresh. It should not stay open too long (in contact with air) because it will start losing the freshness.
- It should not have an unpleasant smell.
- Make sure to pour the correct amount of wine in the glass; some glasses even have marks to show the correct amount you should pour.
- From a standard 75 cL bottle you can get:
- 6 x 125 mL glasses, 4 x 175 ml glasses, 3 x 250 mL glasses.
- The restaurant standard is 5-6 glasses per bottle.
Methods used to Preserve Wine
If you are not going to drink/serve the whole bottle at once you should preserve the wine the correct way. Most often we just put the cork back on the bottle, this method is suitable only for a short period. In a restaurant, it is essential to keep a record of when the bottles are being opened.
- Vacuum Systems: are removing oxygen from the bottle, and the bottle is sealed.
- Blanket Systems: blanketing the wine with a gas, which is heavier than oxygen. The gas forms a type of "blanket" between the wine and air.
Most of the countries have rules/laws to prevent the harmful effects of consuming too much alcohol. There are four main areas of legalization:
For further information visit: www.alcoholinmoderation.com.
Legal age to Purchase and Legal Drinking Age (LDA)
Most of the countries have set laws when it becomes legal to buy and consume alcohol. These types of laws prevent underage people from getting in contact with alcohol either by buying or consuming it. The legal drinking age and the legal purchase age can be different.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
BAC measures the amount of alcohol in a person's blood. Most countries have legal BAC limits for drivers with penalties if they break the law.
Sensible Drinking Guidelines
Often governments and public health institutes issue guidelines to advise on the levels of alcohol consumption divided into "safe," "responsible," "low-risk." Some suggestions could be alcohol-free days in the week. If you work in the service industry, you should never serve a drunk customer.
Standard "drinks" contain 12 ml of alcohol. This is different from country to country. If a country doesn't have official Government guidelines on its own, it should use the instructions provided by the World Health Organisation on low-risk consumption of alcohol (by a unit of 12 ml):
- Not more than two units of alcohol for women, per day.
- Not more than three units of alcohol for a man per day.
- Not recommended to exceed more than four units at one time.
- Not advised to drink while driving, if a woman is pregnant, in different work situations.
- Have one not drinking day a week.
* If a person is drinking more than recommended they increase risks that could damage their health.
DRINKING TO DRUNKENNESS
If on any occasion you drink more than one standard drink per hour, alcohol will flood your brain. Depending on how fast you drink, it affects the brain system and causing interference with vital body functions. If a person is drunk it can modify its judgment and increasingly tricky behavior:
- Risk of sustaining injuries and causing accidents.
- Risk of engaging in unsafe/unprotected sex.
- Risk of bar fights, arguments, and even relationship problems.
- And the extreme cases of alcoholic poisoning, coma, brain damage, death.
HEALTH RISKS OF EXCESS DRINKING
- Dependence on alcohol or alcoholism
- Cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver
- Cardiac arrest and stroke
- Ulcers and other stomach disorders
- Difficulties at work and home