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Picking the right wine glass, pouring without spilling and improving the flavour of wine are all considered basics when serving wine.

A good wine glass will make any wine taste better. Through the years a lot of confusion has been caused over the different shapes and styles of wine glasses, especially when consumers were accustomed to using only one shape of wine glass,. Then an Austrian gentleman, Georg Riedell, started hosting glass tastings in the late 80s to prove first-hand that the shape of a wine glass really does make a difference.

No, this doesn’t mean you have to buy a whole new range for every varietal of wine you enjoy drinking, it simply suggests you find a wine glass that fits your drinking style (available at any Core Store) and make your wine taste better.

The temperature of wine also plays a very big role in how the wine tastes. I am sure you have all tasted how different your coffee or tea tastes at different temperatures. The same applies to wine. Red wine should be consumed at between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius, white and sparkling wines between 6 and 14 degrees Celsius.

Decant or not to decant, that is the question. Most red wines are more enjoyable if they are decanted. Ideally pour the wine into your preferred vessel (decanter) and allow it to sit for about 30 to 45 minutes. However, the quickest method would be to use an aerator, which decants the wine immediately. Almost no wine will be harmed by decanting it, not even sparkling wine, so why not?

When pouring a glass of wine, a standard serving is generally considered to be 180ml. Even though most glasses can hold considerably more wine, the space in the glass is designed to hold the aromas, so try your best to not overfill. 

Try the no drips trick by giving the bottle a slight twist as you end the pour. This does require a little practice, so keep a napkin handy and keep the wine coming...

It is considered civilized at least during your first glass, to hold your wine glass by the stem, as your hand will heat up the wine altering the flavours and aromas. However, the truth is you can hold your glass anyway you like. Though in some social situations and for that Instagram selfie at The Tops Wine Show VIP lounge, we suggest you pose holding the stem.

Lastly, how long can you store your wine after you have opened it? It depends on the type of wine and how it is stored (fortunately we've never had that challenge). Sparkling wine between one and three days, white and rose wines between three and seven days, red wines between three and five days, fortified wines a month and, heaven forbid, the infamous box wine also a month…. As if it ever makes it past the FIRST NIGHT…

For more wine-related tips, great shopping and, of course, some drinking, visit The TOPS at SPAR Wine Show, which takes place in seven cities around the country, which kicked off in Durban and is wine-ding its way to a city near you.

Diarise the TOPS at SPAR Wine Show in your city:

  • 6 to 8 June – Johannesburg (Montecasino) - 
  • To book your tickets for the Joburg show, go to tws.sale/ioljhb
  • 11 to 13 July – Cape Town (GrandWest)
  • 25 to 27 July – Port Elizabeth Boardwalk) 
  • 3 to 5 October – Pretoria (Menlyn Park Shopping Centre)
  • 7 to 9 November – East London (Hemingways Casino)
  • 28 to 30 November – Nelspruit (Emnotweni Casino)
* For more information on the TOPS at SPAR wine show, go to www.wineshow.co.za. Get 30% discount off a General Access ticket by clicking on the link below and entering the Promo Code:  IOL