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About Wine Culture

Wine used to be and remained an honoured beverage of many civilizations. It represents the most cultivated means for enjoying and a unique cultural and civilization challenge.

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Unfortunately, little care is taken about expanding wine culture in our country as a part of general culture of one nation. The expansion of wine culture is very important for civilized and spiritual enjoying in wine. The method of storing and serving wine, matching wine and food and health aspect of wine are taken into special consideration for the purpose of expanding wine culture.

After a certain period of wine ageing in tanks and barrels depending on the type of wine that one wishes to produce, wine is bottled and physical and chemical characteristics continue to develop slowly in a bottle.

Bottled wine requires special storage conditions. A good cellar for wine storage must be dark because it has a positive impact on a long and harmonized ageing of wine. Bottles must be placed horizontally so that drying out of closures should be avoided since this would cause a dangerous contact of wine and air. In the horizontal position the closure (cork) is soaked in wine and thus prevented from drying out. The (ideal) temperature for storing wine is 11 C, but it may reach 14 C at most. The most important thing is to prevent temperature variations that speed up unwanted ageing of wine. Wine is not resistant to physical shocks such as rapid temperature changes.

The humidity of air in the cellar is of particular importance because it directly affects the quality of closure. The best humidity ranges between 65% and 80% and it prevents from drying out of a closure, as well as from damaging of labels on bottles. The cellar for storing wine must be a clean and quiet place, without vibrations and other physical shocks that would be harmful for harmonized ageing of wine.

During the ageing process, wine goes through the phases of youth, maturity (the best balance and developed flavour) and decrease of quality. Wines produced from good harvests can be young for several years, even decades, which depends on the locality where the grapes were grown, grape variety, vineyard management, applied technology and of course, climate conditions. After the youth phase wine enters a maturity phase when its quality is the best and when it should be consumed.

Irrespective of being red, pink or white, wines are characteristic for colour and different tones and shades ranging from greenish, greenish-yellow, yellow, golden-yellow in white wines, as well as from purple, pink and dark ink red wines. Sound colours are definitely a good attribute of wine. Thus the colour of a tablecloth on the table where wine will be served in glasses plays an important role. Dark tablecloths reduce a visual effect of wine colours. Therefore, white or pink tablecloths would suit best to this purpose.

Wine glasses play a key role both in respect of the total impression of a set table and during tasting and consuming wine. Glasses are usually said to be the last clothes of wine. They must be thin, colourless and transparent in order to reveal the colour of this godly beverage. Thick, coloured and decorated, as well as too opened glasses should be avoided. Glass sides should be slightly curved inwards so that the wine flavour could be concentrated on the top of glass and enable better tasting of wine.

A glass is held by glass stem, at least 4-5 cm long so that wine should not be warmed up by hand and so that the visual impression of wine with respect to colour and clearness of wine would not be reduced. When setting a table, you should have a special type of glass for each type of wine, and they should be placed according to their size in a decreasing order from the left to the right, with the glass for water on the end left side of the table. One should never taste several types of wine in the same glass since the remains of flavours of previous wines may destroy the impression of the next type of wine.

Glasses for white wines are of less volume in comparison to glasses used for drinking red wine because white wine is consumed colder and smaller quantities of wine can be consumed more quickly before the wine warms up. While pouring wine to glasses, attention should be paid so that the neck of the bottle wouldnt come in contact with the edge of a glass. Wine is never poured to the rim of a glass but some space is left so that one could feel the fragrance of wine. White wine is poured in a glass by 60% of its volume, while red wines are poured by 40% of its volume.

When serving wine, one should take care of the temperature at which certain wines are served.

Sweet wines and Champaign should be served between 6 8 C. Lower temperature might prevent the release of flavour and this may diminish the estimate of wine quality.

Dry white wines and pink wines should be slightly refrigerated at the temperature between 8 12 C. Higher temperatures should be avoided since wines lose their freshness.

Light red wines of fruit character should be served at the temperature between 12 14 C, and strong red wines at the temperature between 15 18 C.

Young wines are by rule served colder than the older, aged wines.

The next very delicate operation in wine serving is opening a wine bottle. A regular technique for opening a bottle should be practiced and a skilled waiter in a reputable restaurant should do it carefully and discretely. Wine should be served to a host first. If a host is satisfied with the quality of wine, a waiter starts to serve guests, first the ones to the right of the host. The waiter should serve the wine in such a manner so that everyone can see the label on the bottle.