What have you heard so far? White …then red, that is the right order!
Well, allow me to tell you that according to scientists this is only one of those myths we all follow without explanation. A white wine can be served after the red if…you adapt your menu and you follow few basic rules. One of these rules would be to serve the wines in the order of their strength and quality!
Of course we should not start with a very strong wine followed by a soft white wine. Why? Because the tannins of the strong wine will simply neutralise the fruity aromas of the follower and it’s a pity…isn’t it?
We should also consider the quality. If you serve the best wine you have first, anything will seem dull, plane and boring afterwards… Obviously you should start with the less prestigious bottles and leave the best for the end. After all that will be the memorable experience and this way people will enjoy the quality of the first wines as well.
To the rules above, there are few well known exceptions that we must mention. Champagne or a natural sweet wine, less strong than a red wine, still can be served after this one, as they normally accompany the deserts. The first will be enjoyed during the meal, while the sweet or the sparkling wines can go perfectly afterwards.
As we have said before, it worth respecting the rule of strength. The white and rose wine, following this rule, should be served before the red wine. Their acidity and flavours are better and easier felt before tasting a red wine like a Bordeaux or a Languedoc. The exception could be new and strongly flavoured Beaujolais so strongly flavoured that its aromas will stay even after the red.
If you order meat and then a cheese platter following the French way, the red followed by white could be a great choice. The specialists recommend though having a glass of water in between to wipe the tannin and allow you to enjoy the fruity aromas of the white.
Another important rule you have heard is to serve the young before the old. Sound logic, isn’t it? When older, as we all know, the wines get better and have enriched, special aromas. The exception would again be the dry Champagne, which could be served any time.
You have certainly heard that the dry wines should come first and then the sweet. The naturally sweet wine distinguished themselves by their amplitude and flavour. In the majority of cases after a dry wine, their sweetness will dominate the acidity of a white wine, but also the tannins of the red. But this rule also has exceptions. If you serve “ foie gras” with a Banyuls, then a glass of water, you could have a glass of dry wine to neutralise the sugar.
Do not forget though to always enjoy because “ in vino veritas” !
Inspired and adapted from an article by Alexandra Reveillon