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Order of Wine Service

Begin the meal with the most temperate wine and progress to the headiest and most fragrant.

At a simple meal where one wine is served, chose a wine that best compliments the main course.

When two wines are served, serve in the following orders:

  • sparkling wine is served before still wine;
  • dry wine before sweet wine;
  • light wine before heavy wine;
  • young red wine before mature red wine; and
  • ordinary wine before fine wine.

The following order of wine is suggested for a multi-course meal:

  1. Appetizers: Aperitifs, dry sherry, dry champagne, and dry white wine
  2. Soup: White burgundy, dry champagne, chablis, or sherry (when sherry is an ingredient in soup)
  3. Fish: Dry champagne or dry white wine, such as white burgundy, chablis, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc
  4. Fowl: Dry champagne or dry white wine, such as alsatian, pinot blanc, semillon, sylvaner, and traminer
  5. Game: Dry red wine, such as barbera, burgundy, cabernet sauvignon, gamay, pinot nair, or zinfandel
  6. Red Meat: Dry red wine, such as burgundy or claret, or those listed under "Game”
  7. Salad: no wine is served
  8. Cheese: Dessert wine, such as madeira, muscatel, tawny port, sweet sherry, or tokay
  9. Dessert: Sweet champagne, such as doux, or dessert wine, such as madeira, malaga, marsala, port, sauterne, and sweet sherry
  10. Fruit: Dessert wine
  11. Chocolate: Port or cream sherry

- , Editor, Etiquette Scholar

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