Gastronomy of wine

Gastronomy constantly evolves and the meaning of collective catering is slowly being redefined, mainly as far as the quality and quantity of meals is concerned. The aim of modern gastronomy is not only to satisfy the customer’s hunger but also to create a memorable gastronomic and social experience. In order to achieve this, the meals are prepared from usually fresh ingredients of premium quality with the chef being transformed into a designer in the very last stage of the meal preparation. In order for the experience to be as perfect as possible, the meal is always accompanied by a fine drink – the finest of drinks – WINE.

  • Why wine?

    Save for many beneficial effects on the human body, the wine offers a wide variety of aromas that enhance and supplement various dishes.

    It aids digestion, lowers cholesterol and inhibits tumor growth.

    It protects against neurological diseases and helps to alleviate stress.

    It is the most hygienic of drinks. The selection of wine with food and vice versa is a difficult and responsible task based on subjective perception with the aim to match the meal with wine, thus achieving a perfect harmony.  It is necessary to know the character of wine as well as its content and the procedure used in preparation of particular dish. The most important aspect is, of course, the wish of the guest, whom we try to please in the first place.

    Some general recommendations:

    When trying to match wine with a significantly aromatic dish, it is recommended to choose a wine from a less aromatic variety, not too dull however.

    Sweet and salty tastes complement each other (e.g. salt a common ingredient in sweet creams for pastry)

    Sour and sweet tastes are contrasting, however when used in a proper ratio, they are capable of creating a perfect unison (e.g. dressing – sugar + vinegar)

    Sweet taste of food may be complemented with a sweeter wine, however, this is not true of sour food and sour wine.

    Light and simple meals should be complemented with wines of similar character with lower alcohol content.

    Complex dishes, served with a strong sauce require wines that are fuller and more complex.

    Dishes as well as wines are seasonal. Younger, fresh white wines are drank in spring and summer, red wines and aged white wines in autumn and winter.

    What to avoid

    Inappropriate tempering of the wine. Each variety needs different approach at different temperatures.

    Choosing a wrong glass. If we really want to achieve the perfect wine drinking experience, it is important to choose the right shape of the glass in order to achieve proper opening of all aromatic substances.

    Wines do not go well with foods that contain higher amounts of vinegar.

    Salt water or anything that contains salt water is totally incompatible with red wine.

    Chocolate and thick cream desserts create a coating on the tongue, therefore we have to choose a wine with higher alcohol content or sparkling wine.

    Spicy foods do not go well with wines that have a higher content of hard acids.

    Let’s not forget that wines contain alcohol, therefore we should drink in moderation, taking small sips in order to enjoy the beauty of this natural drink to the fullest.

    Currently, a notion to completely liberalize wine pairing prevails. Let’s allow the customer the freedom to choose as he or she pleases.

  • Service of wine

    Wine is always served before meals.

    Rules:

    • Young wines are served first before older wines.
    • We serve wines in the following order: white, rosé, red
    • With regards to the residual sugar content we serve: dry, medium dry, medium, sweet
    • With regards to extract we serve: light, medium, full
    • The rules of wine service (as formulated by Brillat-Savarin) are sometimes not followed, such as when required by the menu or the client.
  • Service of sparkling wine

    Sparkling wines may be decanted. It is recommended to to use appropriate carafes that are tall and sleek, preferably with an enclosure. Decanting is done with older wines mainly to aerate, eventually to separate the sediment.

    Tools: cooler (filled to 1/3 with ice water), paten for the wine cooler with a serviette, two coasters with rosettes, three towels, cork screw, well picked glass, tasting glass, sommelier apron

    Procedure:

    • introduce yourself
    • bring everything along and put on a service trolley or in some case the wine is brought in a cooler
    • ask who will be tasting the wine and then place glasses pursuant to sommelier rules
    • take out the bottle from the cooler, wipe dry with a towel assigned for this purpose and present the wine to the person tasting it from the left side
    • carefully place the bottle back into the cooler
    • the bottle should be kept in the cooler at a 45 degree angle and remove the capsule with a knife on the cork screw, place the capsule on the coaster
    • relieve the agraffe (metal buckle holding the cork in the bottle) , maintaining the 45 degree angle at all times, then place the agraffe on the coaster
    • grip the neck of the bottle with the cork between the thumb and index finger, remove it from the cooler and dry the bottle with the towel assigned for this purpose
    • hold the cork tightly and turn slowly with the bottom of the bottle under constant 45 degree angle
    • silently remove the cork from the bottle under the appropriate angle
    • place the bottle into the cooler, dry the neck of the bottle afterwards
    • the cork shall be examined by the sommelier and placed onto the second coaster and presented to the guest from the right side
    • after approval of the guest the wine is tasted
    • the bottle is always dried with appropriate towel and placed into the cooler
    • a small amount of wine is then poured from the right hand side and tasted,the bottle is presented from the left hand side
    • after approval the wine is poured from the right hand side pursuant to sommelier rules, filling the glass of the taster afterwards
    • the bottle is then placed into the cooler, two towels remain on the service trolley

    Proper temperature of sparkling wine:

    • Sweet 5 – 6 °C
    • Dry 7 – 8 °C
    • Sparkling wines are always poured in such manner as to maintain the optimum serving temperature.
  • Service of white wine

    Tools: tubus, two towels, cork screw, two coasters with rosettes, well picked glasses and tasting glass for sommelier, sommelier apron

    Procedure:

    • introduce yourself
    • bring everything along and put on a service trolley or in some case the wine is brought in a tubus
    • ask who will be tasting the wine and then place glasses pursuant to sommelier rules
    • take out the bottle from the tubus and present it to the person tasting it from the left side
    • place the bottle back to the tubus
    • remove the capsule with the knife on the cork screw and place it onto the coaster
    • clean the cork with an appropriate towel assigned for this purpose
    • insert the cork screw in a drilling motion, remove the cork with a swaying motion with the aid of a towel
    • wipe the neck of the bottle, examine the cork on the cork screw (smell, appearance)
    • remove the cork from the cork screw with the aid of a towel and place it onto the second coaster which is then presented to the person tasting the wine from the right hand side
    • after approval of the guest a small amount of wine is tasted
    • after examining we pour the wine to the person tasting from the right hand side and present the wine from the left hand side
    • after approval the wine is poured pursuant to sommelier rules from the right hand side to the remaining guests up to 1/3 of the glass, pouring to the person tasting the wine afterwards
    • the bottle remains in the tubus on the service trolley
    • the same rule of filling up to 1/3 of the glass applies for white wine as well. the serving temperature depends on the type and year: 10 – 14 °C Dry 10 – 14 °C
    • decanting white wine
    • this procedure is carried out in older wines in order to remove the deposit or to aerate the wine
  • Service of rosé

    The service of rosé is similar to the service of white wine. Eventually it is possible to add a few ice cubes to the tubus in order to cool it. We use a special kind of glasses for rosé – tulip glasses.

    Tools: same as with service of white wine, narrower carafe as for red wine, cooler with ice and paten for the wine cooler with a serviette, candle in a candle holder and matches.

  • Service of red wine – decanting

    Decanting:

    • separate the sediment from the wine
    • aerate the wine and emphasize its aroma

    Sediment – the sediment in the wine consists of wine stone, acids, mineral substances and loose coloring.

    Decanting is done with red wines, white wines as well as older sects – champagnes.

    Tools: Bottle in a decanting holder or basket, two coasters with rosettes, two towels, carafe, candle in a candle holder, matches, cork screw, apron, proper glass for red wine.

    Procedure:

    • introduce yourself
    • bring everything along and put on a service trolley or in some case the wine is brought in a decanting holder
    • ask who will be tasting the wine and then place glasses pursuant to sommelier rules
    • present wine from the left hand side of the person tasting the wine
    • always open in the holder with etiquette always facing the quest
    • remove the capsule with the knife on the cork screw, clean the cork with an appropriate towel, place the capsule on the coaster
    • insert the cork screw and open in with two pulls, remove the cork with a swaying motion with the aid of a towel
    • examine the cork visually and by smell while on the cork screw
    • remove the cork from the cork screw with the aid of a towel and place it onto the second coaster which is then presented to the person tasting the wine from the right hand side
    • wipe the neck of the bottle with the same towel
    • pour a tasting amount into tasting glass, check the smell, color and clarity
    • pour the wine from tasting glass back to carafe – pour the wine with a circular movement at the side of carafe
    • after approval of the person tasting the wine, pour the wine back to tasting glass
    • light a match (not facing a guest), then candle, place the burned match at the side of candle holder
    • content of the bottle is decanted (poured over the candle flame into the carafe so that deposit does not pass into the carafe)
    • once finished check the content of carafe over the candle flame whether deposit passed into the carafe
    • use the burned match to put out the candle flame (push the wick into hot wax)
    • pour the wine to the person tasting from the right hand side (wipe the neck of the carafe with the second towel)
    • after approval the wine is poured pursuant to sommelier rules from the right hand side to all guests up to 1/3 of the glass, pouring to the person tasting the wine afterwards
    • empty bottle in the decanting holder, towel, carafe with wine remain on the service trolley
  • Order of samples tasted
    • before beginning, it is important to go through the whole selection of wines to be tasted
    • first divide the wines with regards to the method of production – sparkling, still, fortified
    • The following procedure is applied regardless of the category:
    • start with dividing the wines based on their color – white, rosé, red
    • the wines are then divided based on the year – young wines first
    • afterwards, divide the wines based on the residual sugar – dry, medium dry, medium, sweet
    • white wines are then divided based on the aromatic characteristics of the variety
    • wines are then divided pursuant to quality grading – graded, attributive wine, tokai
  • Guided degustation

    Guided degustation takes place at various events: when assessing new wines, to rate wines at competitions, as part of various events, in discovery and selection of wines.

    For a professional guided degustation, the taster must be certified as having passed the degustation exams.

    A professionally guided degustation takes place preferably in the morning hours, when the senses are well rested.

    • It is recommended to avoid consumption of alcohol, coffee, teas, chewing gum or any foods with distinctive taste, since these all affect the perception of taste
    • The tasting should take place in a well-ventilated room, well-lit by natural daylight
    • The tables should be clothed in white
    • The best lightning is daylight, eventually supplemented by artificial light
    • The wine must be well tempered in advance (properly cooled)
    • Each sample is served in a new glass (thin glass, glass on a stem, clear, clean, undamaged)
    • The samples are brought in all at once and taken away afterwards
    • Eventually the taster may have one glass (OIV) – an internationally recognized as a tasting glass, where samples are poured. After tasting the wine is then poured (spit) into receptables (fluid containers – spittoons). The tasting glass is then cleaned with water.
    • It is recommended to prepare after-snack such as white bread and still mineral water
    • Cheese, salami, sausages, grapes or salty snacks are not used since they form a coating on the tongue that affects the taste of the wine.
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