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Using large glasses also makes life much easier if you are the host, because you don’t have to go round filling them up so often.

There is also much argument about the correct serving temperature for different wines. As a general rule, lighter-style reds often benefit from slight chilling while big, gutsy reds drink better just a little above room temperature. An extra degree or two can soften any rough edges the wine may have. Everyday Bordeaux should be drunk at room temperature while older clarets should be drunk just a little cooler and red Burgundy-style wines cooler still. Most whites and

rosés should be served well chilled, as should non- vintage Champagne and most other sparkling wines. That means an hour or two in the fridge and then the wine should be kept cool in an ice bucket or similar cooling device.

Fine white Burgundies and the better full bodied whites from other parts of the world - Australian and Californian Chardonnay for instance - Champagne and similar classy, sparkling wines require less chilling and should only be put in the fridge for thirty minutes or so. These big, ñill-bodied whites then have the chance to warm up in the glass, releasing their bouquets.

It may be heresy, but if guests do arrive unexpectedly and you need to cool white or sparkling wine in a hurry, put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Some Sherry, Madeira, Port and other fortified wines also benefit from being served chilled. Fino Sherry and Manzanilla should be served well chilled and white port is best served cold. When it comes down to it, however, as with all matters concerning wine, do what you prefer. After all, what matters most is that you enjoy it.

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