Aaaaaaand I’m already two days behind.

In Uncategorized on February 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

So much for my commitment to writing one post per day while I’m studying for this test. Yesterday I did my first practice service and worked on flash cards for the Court’s recommended serving temperatures for various beverages.

We practiced sparkling wine service, and to be honest it made me feel even less properly prepared for the exam. I can’t count the number of bottles of sparkling wine I’ve opened in the last ten years, but I’ve almost never put conscious thought into each step of the process. We set a table, and my study partners tried to fire questions at me while I went through the steps. I felt like my hands were alien, like I had never opened a bottle before, thinking about every single step of opening the bottle. My colleagues were likewise fixated on my motions, and whether they were correct. I realized I am in the habit of resting the bottle on my hip when removing the cork, which is not proper. I opened the bottle in the air, attempting to keep the bottle at an angle, untwist the cage, and remove the cork and cage while keeping my thumb on the top of the bottle and having my hand as well as the cork and cage covered with a serving napkin. With the cork and cage removed, I struggled to figure out how I was supposed to remove the cork from the cage in order to present the cork to the host, while still holding the now open bottle in my right hand. Once I had presented the cork, pouring went smoothly and I filled each flute about half full in one pour.

A testament to the value of preparation, it took me only a few minutes on google afterwards to find this video:, which I will now study obsessively, and endeavor to imitate precisely.

Preferred serving temperatures, which I will now commit to memory:

Mineral Water: 42°- 50° // 5.5c – 10c
Sweet White Wine: 42°- 50° // 5.5c – 10c
Dry Sherry and Dry Madeira: 48°- 55° // 9c – 13c
CMS 11.5.12 5
Champagne and Sparkling Wine: 42°- 50° // 5.5c – 10c
Light-Bodied White Wine: 42°- 50° // 5.5c – 10c
Dry Rose: 45°- 55° // 7c – 13c
Full-bodied White Wine: 50-59° F // 10c-15c
Light-Bodied Red Wine: 50-59° F // 10c-15c
Medium-Bodied Red Wine: 55°- 62° F // 13c – 17c
Full-Bodied Red Wine: 58°- 65° F // 14.5c – 18c
Tawny Port and Sweet Sherry: 55°- 62° F // 13c – 17c
Sweet Madeira and Vintage Port: 55°- 62° F // 13c – 17c
Draught and Bottled Domestic and Specialty Lager: 40-45° // 4.5c – 7c (Bulk Lagers, Pilsner etc.)
Specialty Ale: 45-50° // 7c – 10c (Belgian Pale Ale, Wheat, APA, IPA Cream, Abbey etc.)
English Style Ale: 50-55° // 10c – 13c
Cask-Conditioned Ales: Cellar Temp 50-55° // 10c – 13c
Porter and Stout: 50-55°// 10c – 13c
Belgian Dubbel: 50-55° // 10c – 13c
Lambic Ale: 45-50° // 7c – 10c

  1. One of the more interesting things I remember from back when I was studying wine is that “room temperature” is not intended to mean modern American air conditioned/centrally heated houses. It’s more based on European chateaus and such which tend to be cooler (both meanings intended), hence the 65 degree max. Even if this reasoning is just a myth, it helps people to remember that there is an actual temperature for red wines…not just whatever sitting on the counter yields.

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