Friday, March 20, 2009

A Bohemian Guide to Serving Wine

This vintage summary of how best to serve wine is originally from "Bohemian San Francisco, Its restaurants and their most famous recipes--The elegant art of dining.", first published in 1914. It contains some good advice still relevant today.
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A few hints regarding the proper serving of wines may not be amiss, and we give you here the consensus of opinion of the most noted gourmets who have made a study of the best results from combinations.

- Never drink any hard liquors, such as whisky, brandy, gin, or cocktails, with oysters or clams, as it is liable to upset you for the rest of the evening.
- With hor d'ourves serve vermouth, sherry, marsala or madeira wine.
- With soup and fish serve white wines, such as Rhein wine, sauterne or white burgundy.
- With entrees serve clarets or other red wines, such as Swiss, Bordeaux, Hungarian or Italian wines.
- Burgundy may also be served at any of the later courses.
- With roasts serve champagne or any of the sparkling wines.
- With coffee serve kirch, French brandy or fine champagne.
- After coffee serve a liqueur. Never serve more than one glass of any liqueur.

The following wines may be considered the best types:

Amontillado, Montilo and Olorosa sherries.

Austrian burgundy is one of the finest wines, possessing rich flavor and fine perfume.

Other burgundies are:

Chablis: A white burgundy, dry and of agreeable aroma.
Chambertin: A sound, delicate wine with a flavor resembling raspberry.
Clos de Vogeot: Similar to chambertin, and often called the king of burgundy.
Romanee: A very rare and costly wine of rich, ruby color, with a delicate bouquet.

Clarets are valued for their flavor and for their tonic properties. Some of the best are:

Chateau Grille: A desert wine of good flavor and fine aroma.
Chateau Lafitte: Has beautiful color and delicate flavor.
Chateau la Rose: Greater alcoholic strength and of fine flavor.
Chateau Margaux: Rich, with delicate flavor and excellent bouquet.
Pontet Canet: A heavier wine with good bouquet and fine flavor.
St. Julien: A lighter claret with good bouquet.

German wines are of lighter character, and are generally termed Rhein wines. The best varieties are:

Hochheimer: A light, pleasing and wholesome wine.
Brauneberger: A good variety with pleasing flavor and aroma.
Dreimanner: Similar to Brauneberger.
Deidesheimer: Similar to Brauneberger.
Graffenberg: Light and pleasant. Good aroma.
Johannisberger Schloss: One of the best of the German wines.
Rudesheimer Schloss: In class with Johannisberger.

Italian wines are mostly red, the most noted in California being Chianti, and its California prototype. Tipo Chianti, made by the Asti Colony.

Lacrima Christi Spumanti: The finest Italian champagne. Dry and of magnificent bouquet.
Vin d'Oro Spumanti: A high-class champagne. Sweet and of fine bouquet and flavor.
Lacrima Christi: A still wine of excellent flavor and bouquet.
Malaga: A wine of high repute. Sweet and powerful. A peculiar flavor is given to it through the addition of a small quantity of burned wine.
Marsala: Is a golden wine of most agreeable color and aroma.

French:
Sauterne: Is a white Bordeaux, a strong luscious wine, the best known varieties being:
Chateau Yquem: Remarkable for its rich and velvety softness.
Barsac: Rich and good.
Chateau Filhot: Of rich color and good flavor.
Chateau Latour Blanche: A white sauterne of exquisite bouquet.
Haut Sauterne: Soft and mild. Of good flavor.
Vin de Graves: Good and Strong. Good aroma and flavor.

Vintage years have much to do with the quality of wines. The best vintage years are as follows:

Champagnes: 1892.
Rhein and Moselle: 1893.
Burgandy: 1892, 1899 and 1904.
Claret: 1898 and 1904.
Port: 1896 and 1904.
Sherry: 1882, 1890, 1898 and 1900.

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