WITH THE COFFEE.
Liqueurs, as Creme de Menthe, Chartreuse, Benedictine or Fine Cognac. Also, throughout the meal, high-class Table Waters.
The choice of the particular brands, etc., must naturally depend on (1) the amount the host wishes to spend and his individual fancy or preference, and (2) the physical construction of the repast.
The simpler "intermediate" style referred to is shown in the two examples below : An appetizer (aperitif) to commence with. White Wine with oysters, soup and fish. Champagne with the entrée, releve and dessert. Burgundy (or fine claret) with the game. Liqueurs with the coffee.
White Wine with the oysters. Sherry with the soup and fish. Champagne with entrée, releve, game and dessert.
Liqueurs with the coffee.
The two pages preceding show a number of "correct" glasses for different wines and liqueurs. Here again the choice or decision is largely a matter of individual taste, local custom or temporary vogue. If only the glasses shown are used, no adverse criticism is tenable, but various other styles might be followed and be considered in equally good form.
Decanting, Serving and Temperature.
The American preference is generally for bringing the original bottle of wine or spirits to the table, filling the glasses from it direct. This is also the correct method from an epicurean standpoint, as, in spite of some assertions to the contrary, the decanting of wine (emptying the original bottle into a decanter before serving) cannot improve the bouquet or flavor, and very often results in losing a noticeable proportion of both.
Serving wine from the bottle needs, however, very careful handling in the case of older wines and others having a heavy sediment, as otherwise, in pouring into the glasses, the shaking of the bottle may mix particles of the sediment with the wine, detracting from the clearness which is so desirable. The wisest policy is to make use
of a WINE CRADLE (which see).
Unless served from a Wine Cradle, old still wine—particularly Claret, Burgundy and Port—that has been a long time in bottle, should be allowed to stand on end for twenty-four to thirty-six hours so as to permit the sediment to settle to the bottom. If it is then considered advisable or preferable to decant it, a light may be placed behind the neck of the bottle while so doing—you can then see when the sediment has been reached. Before setting it to stand, it is best to partly extract the cork, so that when you are ready to decant, it can be removed with the least possible agitation of the wine.
An automatic cork puller is almost indispensable for the easy and quiet removal of corks.
The common belief in this country that wines containing sediment are impure, is incorrect. All still wines cast sediment if left in the bottle long enough—a fact well understood in Europe. The same result may follow from weather influences during transportation. This sediment affects neither the flavor nor quality, if the bottles are handled with sufficient care to avoid mixing the contents. The process which results in its absence from sparkling wines of high grade is described in the article on CHAM