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November 21, 2017 | All Posts, Community, How Tos & Tips |

Tips for Flawless Wine Service

You’ve selected the perfect wine for your holiday meal. What you pour your wine into may come as an afterthought, but selecting the right stemware will truly enhance the wine and the occasion. Here are some tips for ensuring maximum enjoyment:


Selecting appropriate glassware will not only impress your guests and add some flair to your table, but will allow the wines to show their best.

Pinot Noir

The Oregon Pinot Noir glass was made by Austrian manufacturer Riedel especially for our region’s flagship varietal. Winemaker Luisa Ponzi was actually on the panel of experts who worked with Georges Riedel to develop the glass. The benefits of this special stemware are numerous. Our favorite features are the large bowl― ideal for easy swirling, conjuring all of the wonderful nuances Pinot noir has to offer; and the narrow chimney, which focuses the tantalizing aromas and subtle flavors and gently leads the wine to your palate.

While this glass was made for Pinot noir, you will find just about any wine will enjoy the glass’ benefits. At the Ponzi Vineyards Tasting Room, we serve nearly all of our wines in Riedel’s impressive Oregon Pinot Noir glass. Stop by the tasting room to pick up your own set of these impressive stems. If an Oregon Pinot Noir glass is not available, any large bowled glass, like a traditional Burgundy stem, will do just fine.

White Wines

We love serving Ponzi Chardonnay in the Oregon Pinot Noir glass, but white wines, especially the crisp, stainless-steel fermented cuvées will show quite well in a smaller bowled glass. Riedel makes several beautiful and easy to find options: Veritas and Vinum XL. This type of glass is perhaps the most common found on the market, so chances are you already have this type of stemware in your kitchen cabinet.


Whether you’re popping the cork on a bottle of bubbles or pouring a seductive dessert wine, there are a handful of wines that necessitate their own special glass- and for good reason. A champagne flute is not only mean to look elegant and festive, but the tall, elongated glass actually helps keep the tiny bubbles in the wine. A larger bowled glass will expose more surface area and thus the CO2 will quickly dissipate.

Dessert wine, on the other hand, is a little more forgiving. Often times you find the after dinner variety is served in tiny stemware. Wine with higher residual sugar is best enjoyed in smaller quantities because it is so rich. It is not necessary to have special glassware on hand however. Use your white wine stemware. Just keep your pours to about 3-4oz, or half of what you would normally pour your guests.

At the end of the day, the occasion is yours. Use these suggestions as guidelines. If you want to serve your bubbles in an Oregon Pinot Noir glass, go for it… and enjoy fewer dishes to wash! Truth be told, your wine will benefit from quality stemware, no matter the shape.

More Pro Tips

Holidays often tempt overconsumption. Winery Founder and author of The Ponzi Vineyards Cookbook, Nancy Ponzi offers a bit of wisdom: “Provide an attractive dump bucket or two. It’s not rude to dispose of wine, particularly if a number of wines are being served; it’s possible to love the wine but want to limit consumption― too much alcohol ruins tasting pleasure.”

Serving Temperature guide

To best experience the true essence of Ponzi wines, Winemaker Luisa Ponzi recommends serving them at the following temperatures:

Pinot noir: 63  ̊  
Chardonnay: 54  ̊
Pinot gris: 47  ̊
Vino Gelato: 43  ̊  

Refrigerators are typically kept at 32 ̊ - 40 ̊, while wine fridges are kept at cellar temperature: 55 ̊ - 57 ̊. Plan accordingly to chill your wines and pull them out in time to warm to the perfect serving temperature.

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