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When it comes to managing a superyacht, you’ll definitely need a solid foundation in ever-popular red wines.

In this guide, we’ll highlight everything you need to know about choosing, storing, and serving red wines aboard your superyacht.

What Is Red Wine?

Dark-coloured grape varieties are chosen for red wines. They are hand or machine picked, and the best ones are ultimately chosen for use.

The stems are removed and grapes are crushed before being fermented in their skins.

During the fermentation process, red wine grapes are hand mixed to extract juices and prevent bacteria growth.

Once fermented, the grapes are moved to barrels where they mature.

Red wine is a classic, known for its full flavour and wide varieties. There are several keys to choosing a “good” bottle of red wine, many of which come down to preference. We’ll cover the information you need to make a great choice based on various factors. 

How to Store Red Wine on a Yacht

Special considerations must be made when storing red wine on a yacht. First, you must consider that there is near-constant agitation when out to sea.

There are a few problems with this. Perhaps most obvious, the constant movement makes it easier for red wine bottles to get damaged or broken. Secondly, red wines tend to need to settle before being served, and this continuous movement makes it difficult for that to occur.

With that in mind, it’s best to have an onboard cellar with temperature and humidity controls.

Each bottle needs to be secured to minimize movement, which ultimately will cause your red wines to age faster.

If you know that you’ll be storing red wine onboard for an extended period of time, it’s best to purchase a younger wine. Any wine stored onboard should be consumed within two years.

Another important storage consideration: you should never store any wine, including red wine, near any diesel fumes or cleaning products because odours can contaminate the flavour of the wine through the cork.

Red wine storage aboard a superyacht can be a bit of a challenge, but with the proper cellar and considerations, you can keep the perfect red wines on hand and ready to serve at all times. 

How to Serve Red Wine

When serving red wine on a superyacht, it’s important to allow the wine to stand a day before serving to allow sediment to settle.

In the case of light and medium-bodied reds, such as Beaujolais and Pinot Noir, are best served chilled at 54-60° in a chianti glass for fruity, acidic wines.

In more delicate yet complex red wines, a Pinot Noir glass would be the ideal choice.

In terms of full-bodied reds, which include merlots and cabernet sauvignon, the best serving temperature is between 60-65° in a wide-bowled glass to properly allow wines with higher acidity to breathe. 

Popular Red Wine Grape Types Every Superyacht Stewardess Should Know About

There are several popular red wine grape types you should be aware of. Various grapes will offer various flavours, as you might expect, and knowing the basics of red wine grapes can be helpful in choosing the perfect red wine.

There are quite literally thousands of grape variations, but these are the ones you should be most familiar with:

– Merlot: known for its flavours including cherry, toffee, and plum

– Pinot Noir: strawberry, raspberry, and cherry flavours

– Cabernet Sauvignon: plum, black cherry, and blackberry with subtle hints of vanilla, black pepper, liquorice, and spice

– Syrah: savoury flavours ranging herbs and red/dark fruits to pepper and smoke; aged in oak, expect tones of spice and vanilla

– Tempranillo: flavours of plums, figs, cherry, and leather

Knowing this information can help you perfectly pair red wines with your onboard menu.

Keep in Mind…

There are a few other important considerations to make when choosing and serving red wine. For instance, you will likely serve 5-6 glasses per wine bottle. Other considerations in term of red wines include the producer, whether it’s vintage or not, where the grapes were grown, and ABV.

Once you’ve become familiar with the basics of red wines and how to store and serve them aboard your superyacht, you’ll be able to delight your guests at every meal where red wine is requested.


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