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Page:Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.djvu/1648

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kind of wine should accompany each course, and they were served in the following order:—

Chablis or Sauterne with hors d'œuvres; Sherry or Marsala with soup; Hock or Sauterne with fish; Claret or Burgundy with entrées; Champagne with roast and entremêts; Port, Claret or Madeira with the dessert. Now the number of wines introduced at one meal is considerably reduced. Sometimes a glass of good sherry or mineral waters with whisky is served with the soup, after which champagne is served until the dessert, when port and old claret take its place. Frequently one, or, at the most, two kinds of wine are served throughout the meal, and these are either claret or Burgundy and champagne, or champagne alone. The following table gives the correct temperatures at which various wines should be served:—

Champagne35°deg. Fah.
Sherry40 deg. Fah.
Marsala40 deg. Fah.
Chablis and other wines of this class45 deg. Fah.
Sauterne and other wines of this class50 deg. Fah.
Port55 deg. Fah.
Madeira and claret65 deg. Fah.
Burgundy70 deg. Fah.

Ice should never be put into wine, but this does not of course apply to claret cup and similar mixtures which are dealt with hereafter. Champagne and similar wines should, of course, be served cold, but the temperature must be lowered in bottle. This may be done most expeditiously by surrounding the bottles with crushed ice, and allowing the whole to remain covered with a wet flannel for about an hour before being served. An agreeable fresh flavour may be given to all Rhine wine by cooling them slightly. Claret and Burgundy, on the contrary, should be drunk milk-warm; while port, if exposed to a low temperature, will acquire a harsh, thin, acid taste, which temporarily deprives it of all its characteristic qualities. The easiest method of raising the temperature of these wines is to place them near the fire or in a warm room for several hours; or it may be more speedily accomplished by surrounding the bottles with hot water.

Old wines that have been bottled for any length of time should be carefully decanted, for they nearly always have a crust or sediment which, if disturbed, may spoil the flavour of the wine. Decanting baskets are useful means of preventing this. Each bottle is transferred from the bin to a separate basket, lying therein in nearly the same position as that in which it was found in the bin, but with the neck a little higher.

Wineglasses.—It is usual to have various shapes of wineglasses for different wines. There is however one form which suits all wines, which is of the goblet or half globe shape. It is essential that the glass should be as thin as possible. Glasses running four or five to the reputed quart bottle are the best for size.