Guide to Wine & Cheese

We’ve got your back with an easy guide to the basics.

From glassware and storing to temperature and pouring

Top Tips

  • Buy what you like. Enjoy what you drink, rather than stressing about serving a wine that goes specifically with turkey or ham. The holiday meal is so diverse that there is no single wine that goes with all of it.
  • Always include a sparkling wine. Serve it straight from the refrigerator. (If chilling from room temperature, place in ice bucket for about 30 minutes.)
  • Find a trusted resource. Get to know your local wine specialist and build a relationship. They can suggest specific wines for you to try.
  • Don’t wait. Do share. Rather than waiting for a special occasion, make the occasion special by opening that great bottle of wine with friends or family.

Glassware

Glasses do make wine taste better. Select tapered thin glasses for Whites to help the wine from warming up too quickly. Generally you want to reach for glasses with larger bowls and wider openings for Reds. This will encourage oxidation, enhancing the flavor and aroma. Use a tall tapered flute-shaped glass for sparkling wines; this will help keep the bubbles from dissipating.

Storing

Store wine at the same temperature, regardless of its color. For regular storage, keep your unopened wine bottles in a cool, dark place — something under 80°F, say, inside a cabinet. For long-term wine storage, wine is best kept in a cool, dark place ideally 55°F to 65°F.

Temperature

Reds: Place a bottle in the fridge for about 20 minutes before serving. This brings out the wine's fruit flavors and tames its alcohol.

Whites: Chill white wines well, then pull them out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving.

Sparkling wines: Refrigerator temperature is best.

Decanting

Decanting - pouring wine from the bottle into another container before serving – separates the wine from the sediment that develops as some wines age and exposes young wines to air, which accentuates aromas and flavors. Confused about which wines to decant and when? Keep it simple and just decant full-bodied Reds one hour before serving.

Pouring

To display the wine’s aroma, never fill higher than the widest part of the glass. Depending on the glass, this may be around one-third full. Finish with a twist to prevent accidental drips.

Leftovers

Stews, soups, punches and cocktails are great uses for leftover wine.

We are prohibited by law from selling alcohol in some of our stores. Please see our list of stores that do sell alcohol or our list of stores that do not sell alcohol.