How to Serve Wine Properly in Your Bar or Restaurant

We all know how to pour a glass of wine, don’t we? Wrong. Pouring wine correctly is an important issue in wine culture. Every server should know how to serve wine the correct way – from opening the bottle to pouring a glass of wine, through to proper etiquette with your guests. Read on to master the complete skill of serving wine and develop your confidence when surrounded by guests in your bar or restaurant. 

What is Wine Service?

Wine service is the formality of serving a whole bottle of wine to a table of guests. Wine is served after you have listened to their choice from the wine list or made a recommendation based on their likes and dislikes.

Whereas most wines available by the glass are poured by the bartender for the server to deliver, authentic wine service by the bottle is completed by the server at the guests’ table.

Wine has the ability to enhance the guest experience, intensify your menu, and increase sales in your bar or restaurant. However, it comes with its own rules of service and etiquette, which can be intimidating. We have broken the process down into steps, and we begin this story just after the bottle has been uncorked. 

How to Pour Wine

Step 1
Place a wine glass on the table and hold the bottle on its lower half with one hand. Use your other hand to hold a cloth napkin to prevent dripping. Now, you’re ready to pour the wine.

Step 2
Tilt the bottle down over a wine glass and pour the wine slowly but steadily into the glass – in the center or along the side.

Step 3
When you reach the 5-ounce (150ml) mark, tilt the bottle upwards with a quick twisting motion and wipe the bottle’s lip with your napkin. 

Extra Tips for Pouring Wine in your Bar or Restaurant

TIP: The widest part of the wine glass often corresponds to the 5-ounce (150ml) mark. However, your bar or restaurant may have its own standard size pour of wine to adhere to. 

TIP: If you are pouring wine that has been chilled in an ice bucket, wipe the bottle with a cloth napkin before serving the wine. 

TIP: The bottle should never be opened prior to wine service.

TIP: It is the server’s responsibility to return to the table and refill glasses.

TIP: Letting a wine ‘breathe’ is a well-known technique for red wine, so you should decant reds for around 30 minutes before service. If it is a young wine, this will allow the tannins to soften, and if it is an aged wine, the character will balance for a well-rounded taste with each mouthful.

How to Serve Sparkling Wine

Would we be living up to our name if we didn’t tell you how to pour our original sparkling wine products? 

  1. Sparkling wines need to be served cold – an ice bucket will come in handy here.
  1. The bottle of sparkling wine will need to be opened carefully, in a controlled fashion, by keeping your thumb on the cork and letting the pressure inside the bottle push the cork out (rather than firing it across the room). Hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle when opening to avoid the wine fizzing up.
  1. You should pour the wine consistently and slowly, pouring at an angle to the glass to avoid the wine bubbling over the rim.

We hope these tips on serving wine help you create a seamless guest experience in your bar or restaurant and make the wine service process seem less intimidating.

Browse our range of wine bottles, and keep in touch on our Instagram to be the first to hear more top tips for hospitality. Or if you’re looking for something different, we also provide a range of on-tap cocktails, single-serve cocktails and dispensing equipment.

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