With the exception of centenary wines or simply wines which are on their last legs, red wines will always benefit from being opened one to two hours prior to service. For full-bodied whites, generally an hour is more than enough; for lighter style whites, such as Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris and non-vintage Champagnes, a mere fifteen to twenty minutes of breathing will be enough to help the wine show what it’s really made of.
How to uncork
In addition to cleaning the neck of the bottle before opening it, the second most important aspect of uncorking your wine is to cut the foil correctly: make sure you cut it just under the ring of the neck, because if the wine comes into contact with the foil, this may alter its aromas – in a bad way. Finally, it’s worth giving the inside of the opening a quick wipe with a clean paper towel, to remove any cork residue which might end up in the glasses.