Before you drink


If you open a bottle of good Bordeaux, there's no point in drinking it right away (I'm not saying anything new to most of you, but not everyone is a connoisseur). We have to give the wine some time to breathe.

Yannick Evenou, director of Château Réaut, gave us a simple and effective recipe. He does it like this: after opening the wine, he pours half the contents of the bottle into any glass container. After two hours, he pours the wine back into the bottle, or the rest of the wine from the bottle into the glass container. The two options are equivalent. That's it, the wine is ready to drink.

But you don't always have company at home and want to drink the whole bottle in one evening. Then it's a good idea to open the wine the day before and let it stand uncorked. The next day you can start enjoying the wine. But cork the unfinished bottle and try the wine a day later. It will be even better. And the next few days won't diminish its quality. Of course, after that, I recommend that you vacuum the bottle. It will keep for 14 days if treated in this way.


In this context, I often recall an incident from one of our visits to Saint-Émilion:

we had several bottles on the table in the evening. They were from prestigious wineries and not cheap. And then one from Château Vieux Chevrol, which we visited that day in Lalande Pomerol. We didn't like it very much. It wasn't any better the next day either, so we corked it up and put it away. The next few evenings we enjoyed some excellent Grand Cru Classé and didn't bother with the "old goat" (the English translation of "vieux chevrol") anymore.

After about four or five days, Jindra remembered it and poured himself some for interest. "Boys, this is a completely different wine!" he said in disbelief. And he was right. It was great, and it topped all the other bottles.



Don't forget that the temperature of the wine is also important to the enjoyment of the wine. Try to keep it close to 18 degrees Celsius.



But nothing should be overdone and there's no need to make a big deal out of wine tasting. I like the way they look at it at Château du Retout:

For many wine consumers and lovers, wine tasting is the domain of professionals or true connoisseurs. People still have the idea that it is a complex, technically precise and highly formalised process.

In reality, wine tasting is not and should not be like that. It should be direct, friendly, interesting and fun. Wine tasting should evoke curiosity, excitement, pleasure and dreams.


You use all five senses when tasting wine:

touch, when you pick up the bottle to feel its temperature,

hearing, which allows you to enjoy the sound of the cork popping and the wine pouring into the glass,

and then, of course, you use sight, smell and taste when you drink the wine.