How To Master The Art Of Pouring Wine (And Not Spill It Everywhere)

Tips on pouring wine like a pro, from those in the know.

One of the things we’re never really taught – unless you work in a restaurant or bar – is how to pour wine correctly.

But if you’re into your wine, the way you pour really does matter, says Lukas Kolodziejczyk, head of fine wine at Cult Wines, as it can enrich the taste of it.

He strongly recommends decanting your wine once you’ve opened the bottle, which serves two functions: firstly, to stop naturally occurring sediment from reaching your glass, and secondly, to help the wine aerate and ‘open up’ before it’s drunk.

But if you don’t have a decanter, fear not. Open the bottle and, leaving the glass on the table, hold the bottle towards its bottom (“never the neck!”) and gently pour the wine into the glass. It doesn’t really matter where in the glass you pour, as long as you avoid splashing.

“Take particular care if it’s a sparkling wine,” he says, “pour a small amount into the flute, let the bubbles settle and then finish pouring until the glass is three-quarters full.”

Kolodziejczyk says if you want to do things by the book, glasses should always be filled from the guest’s right-hand side.

For red and white wines, the usual measure is about 125ml for a smaller serving or 175ml for an average-sized serving. “This is pretty tricky to do by sight,” points out Kolodziejczyk. “So usually, your best bet is to fill to the widest part of the glass, or at least a couple of inches from the rim – this gives the wine the best opportunity to breathe.”

To stop the wine from dribbling all over the label and making it look a right eyesore, he suggests a little extra care when opening the bottle. Rather than pulling the entire foil capsule from the top of the bottle, cut it neatly right below the lip of the bottle, so the wine doesn’t pass over the foil and on to the label.

In addition to this, you need to get your wrist flourish right so you don’t drip wine everywhere after pouring – “just before pulling the bottle away, give it a quick quarter-turn with your wrist and then tilt it upright,” he says.

“You might also keep a crisp white cloth nearby to wipe the mouth of the bottle afterwards, just in case.”

Next time you’re allowed friends and family over, you know what to do.