How to make the most of the unique qualities of these wines?
The development of Saint-Emilion wine is an art that finds its culmination in the tasting. Here are some tips to enjoy Saint-Emilion wines!
Storing Saint-Emilion wine
Firstly, Saint-Emilion wines do not like to be rushed. Following a transit, you should let it rest, preferably lying down, for a few days before drinking it. In this way, the cork stays moist and allows exchange of air with the surroundings. To store a bottle, keep it lying down, protect it by keeping it away from light and heat sources. Ideally, it should be conserved between 11 and 15 ° C, with humidity close to 75% and moderate aeration. In the absence of cellar, a wine cabinet or a cupboard is a good alternative.
Advice from Bruno Dumery, the director of the Maison du Vin of Saint-Emilion: If you do not have a suitable wine cellar, do not panic! Opt for a cool place away from light and odor, your wine will keep without any problems at temperatures up to 20 or 21 ° C. It simply requires regular monitoring of its evolving taste because at these temperatures the wine does not deteriorate but evolves and ages faster.
The subtle art of uncorking
A Saint-Emilion wine must be aerated to allow the flavors to flourish. The bottle must therefore be uncorked one to two hours before consumption. Depending on the age of the bottle and the state of the cork, the uncorking must be carried out with caution. To open the bottle, cut the seal below the ring to avoid contact between the metal and the wine. A corkscrew, helical or lever-based, is recommended for extracting the cork. These tools not only reduce the risk of disintegration of the cork but also prevent any adverse shocks to fragile wines.
Advice from Bruno Dumery: Aeration for 2 to 3 hours is preferable for the young and powerful vintages such as 2010, 2009, or 2005 to round off their tannic structure and to develop their aromatic complexity. Interestingly, aeration for one hour is enough for the young wines- 2011, 2012- so that they exhale their fruity aromas. For older vintages up to 2000, I recommend opening the bottle one hour before and just pouring it into a carafe before serving and the decanting will have been removed the sediment.
From the carafe to the glass
Decanting involves pouring the wine into a carafe. This aerates the wine and removes the sediment that forms naturally as a result of ageing. The most suitable decanters are those with a curved shape without any sharp edges, with a narrow neck and that could be closed with a glass stopper. However, the more fragile wines can be altered by this method of decantation. For this reason, very old bottles must be kept lying flat in a basket to settle. Finally, what kind of glass should a Saint-Emilion wine be served in? The most suitable are the 25 to 30 cl tulip-shaped ones. With the hand action, they allow to turn the wine to release the aromas.
Advice from Bruno Dumery: Glass decanters that are widely used in restaurants and are ideal for aeration and oxygenation of young wines up to 7/8 years old. For the older vintages, I recommend more narrow necked carafes with a cap to prevent oxidation of fragile wines.